Disability: A Legal Definition

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Updated November 30, 2018 | Legal Dictionary |


If you are considering legal action after an injury, it is important to know precisely what is meant by disability in a legal context.

Disability as a Legal Term

Disability is legally defined as the inability to engage in activity due to a mental or physical impairment. It can affect not only your ability to work but also your ability to engage in other activities, particularly those you were accustomed to enjoying before your injuries.

Examples of Legal Disability

For example, the loss of a leg may not affect your ability to work as a copywriter, but your tennis game is going to suffer, even with the finest prosthetic devices available. In such a case, the law recognizes your disability even though you’re likely to be able to return to work at or above your previous rate of pay. Your enjoyment of sports or other favorite activities is a gainful activity.

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