When finding out that you now have been infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. After the shock wears off, however, you may wonder if your most recent sexual partner was to blame. With incidents of STD infections soaring, you become more likely to get an STD with each sexual encounter. To find out what you can do about your new problem, read on.
Consider Criminal Charges
While receiving victim restitution for being infected with an STD is uncommon, it is possible. To be paid in this manner, you will have to file a police report, and the perpetrator would need to be charged and convicted of assault. This type of assault is not about being harmed physically or being forced to do something you did not want to do. It's more about you having sex with someone that you believed to be free of disease. If you would never have had sex with them if they had been honest about their condition, then it's considered nonconsensual. You must give your consent when having sex. If the other party lied, however, they prevented you from being able to give informed consent.
Personal Injury Negligence
The other way to gain monetary compensation from an STD infection is to file a personal injury suit against your (former) sexual partner. You can win a case like this in court even if the person infected with an STD had no idea about it. It all comes down to a civil law term known as "a duty of care." This means that you, and everyone else, are owed a duty of care in all matters. When that duty of care fails, harm can occur. People who engage in unprotected sex have a duty of care to know about their health status and to warn others of the potential for harm. While both parties have a duty of care, that does not diminish the defendant's responsibility.
Personal Injury Fraud
One final way to be paid money damages after acquiring an STD is to prove fraud. This type of personal injury cause of action focuses on the dishonesty demonstrated by the perpetrator. In other words, they lied to you. They may have made a lie of omission, or they may have been openly dishonest about their health status. You must be able to prove that they knew or should have known about the STD before they had sex with you.
It's worth mentioning that if you expect to be paid money damages, the other party must have the ability to pay. Speak to a personal injury attorney to find out more.