When An Injury Gets Personal: Dealing With An STD
Most people are caught off-guard, to say the least, when a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is delivered to them by their doctor. You will likely immediately think about your last sexual partner, wondering if you got it from them or if, (shudder), you gave it to them. One STD in particular is frighteningly prevalent. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that as many as one in six between the ages of 14 and 29 are afflicted with herpes. Some people become angry when they confront a former partner and locate the probable source of the infection. You may be entitled to compensation for this type of injury, so read on to learn more.
Even if you give the person who gave this disease the benefit of the doubt, they may still be held liable for your injury. Everyone owes everyone else what's known in the legal world as "duty of care". This means that they knew, or they should have known, about something bad and should have warned you ahead of time. When they failed to warn you, they breached (or broke) the duty of care. This is considered negligence.
For example, if your former partner knew that their former partner cheated on them and that they noticed some vague signs of an STD but never followed up on it, that is considered breaching the duty of care. If you can prove it, you have the basis for a personal injury case against the person that infected you with herpes. It should be noted that you have a part to play in this scenario as well. You may find your compensation reduced if the other side can show that you failed to use due care when having sex.
If you can prove that your former partner actually did know that they had an STD but lied about it, you may have a fraud claim. All three of the elements below must be proven:
1. One party lied to the other party.
2. That party believed the lie
3. That party was injured because they believed the lie.
This is a very serious charge, and while it won't garner you any monetary compensation, it may give you the satisfaction of seeing justice done. The assault charge is based on the fact that you would never have given the former partner consent to have sex if you had known that they had the disease, and therefore non-consensual sex is assault.
If you are the victim of an STD like herpes, talk to a personal injury attorney, like one from Walsh Fewkes Sterba, for more information.