Are you concerned that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Social apps like Tinder and Grindr make it easy for couples to participate in the hook up culture, but being intimate with a stranger has its dark side. If you’re meeting a person for the first time, then you know nothing about them, including their sexual history. You have no way of telling if they carry an STD. The nature of these diseases means it’s challenging to look for physical symptoms; STDs such as chlamydia, HIV, and hepatitis don’t have any physical symptoms that present themselves on the body.
CDC statistics from 2016 show that the American public reported over 1.5 million cases of chlamydia. Due to the embarrassing nature of STDs, many people chose to avoid medical treatment. The shame and fear of what might happen if one’s social circle finds out about their infection prevents people from telling others about their disease. This non-reporting of STDs makes the dating game, especially random hookups, particularly dangerous.
If you’ve contracted an STD from an infected partner, they may be liable for your treatment and any related health costs to cure you of the disease. In addition, intentional infection of other individuals is a crime in Florida. Speak to our STD lawyer in Miami about the circumstances of your infection. We will provide guidance and assess your case to see if you have recourse against the person that infected you.
In most cases, while the offending party may not go to prison, unless severe extenuating circumstances arise, you are entitled to a cash settlement for damages incurred as a result of the STD. This could include general and punitive damages. Your attorney will take into account damages for pain and suffering, as well as the costs of your medical treatment for the infection. These expenses may include costs associated with counseling and medication, as well. If you’ve contracted an STD due to malicious intent, here’s everything you need to know about the legal action you can take against the offending party.
Transmitting an STD can be a Civil Offense
Infecting another person with an STD can be done so intentionally or negligently. Intentionally transmitting an STD is an easier case to prove because the behavior of the guilty party is easier to prove. Negligence can be a more difficult case to prove but our attorneys have a track record of successfully winning these cases.
In some cases, causing harm to another human being can be classified as negligent behavior. And in many of these infection cases, proving negligence is the goal of our STD attorney in Miami. To prove negligence in court, our lawyer will need to clearly define the duty your partner owed you and show that they intentionally engaged in a breach of that duty in some manner. Your attorney needs to prove to the court that your partner’s negligent behavior led to them knowingly infecting you with an STD.
Proving negligence is the hardest part of establishing a case for transmission of an STD. However, our skillful attorneys will be able to assist you with collecting evidence that proves negligence. In this case, your partner engaged in negligent behavior, because they have a responsibility to inform you of their status before sexual contact.
Should your lawyer succeed in proving that your partner knowingly refused to disclose their status, this would constitute a breach of a duty to inform you of their status. It’s important to note that unintentionally spreading a disease is not a defense in a negligence lawsuit. In addition, taking precautions, such as using condoms, may not free someone from liability.
What You Need to File a Lawsuit
When your doctor informs you of an STD, the last thing running through your mind will be filing a lawsuit. It takes time to come to terms with your status, and you can expect to spend a few days dealing with the emotions surrounding your diagnosis. During this time, it’s best to see a clinical psychologist for assistance in coping with your condition. Learning that you’ve contracted an STD will take its toll on your mental and physical health, and it’s common for people to feel a flood of negative emotions during the acceptance phase.
You’ll need to arrange a medication protocol to cure or manage your condition (if it’s possible), as well as begin a therapy regimen that gets you back on the path to good health. When you emerge from dealing with the emotions of the diagnosis, visit an attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Filing a lawsuit against the offending party can bring you justice. In the state of Florida, the law stipulates that knowingly transmitting a life-threatening STD, especially chronic infections, such as HIV, constitutes grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The Issue with Proving Liability
It’s best to visit the offices of a personal injury lawyer in Miami if you contract an STD due to someone hiding their status from you. Proving liability can be a challenge in some cases, and isolating the encounter that caused your infection is also important to determine. Some people may not discover their STD until months or years after being infected.
Unknowingly infecting someone with an STD is not illegal. But if someone knowingly infects his or her partner with an STD after being notified of his or her condition, it could be a criminal issue as well as a civil issue. It’s up to your legal counsel to assess the circumstances surrounding your infection and advise you on whether you have a case for liability against your partner.
Proving Liability: Civil Battery and STD Claims
Along with the charge of negligence, knowingly spreading an STD can be grounds for filing a civil battery case. The term “civil battery” describes the intentional harm of another person using physical force. However, in the case of transmitting an STD, a civil battery case can also be filed against the infecting party. They engaged in contact with you, resulting in harm to your well-being and health. While this is not the same as being physically beaten, it falls under the same laws as a civil battery case.
If your attorney cannot prove the intent of the offending party, there are alternative means of seeking justice through filing a lawsuit for civil battery. While proving negligence requires the court to consider the intent to transmit the disease, a civil battery claim does not. In this case, engaging in sexual intercourse while knowing transmission is a possibility is all your attorney needs to prove to establish grounds for the lawsuit.
Proving Liability: Intentional Fraud
Another means of seeking justice through the legal system is filing a case for a cause of action alleging fraud. If the defendant was aware of their status or suspected they were carrying an STD, you may have grounds for fraud because they tricked you into having sex with them.
Don’t Disclose Your Partner’s Status
If your diagnosis confirms an STD, you should expect complete confidentiality from your medical practitioner. If they break their duty to you and disclose your status to another party, you have grounds to file a civil case against them. The medical practitioner would face severe penalties that could include civil lawsuits, as well as professional censure.
Similarly, if any other party discloses your status to members of the community, they could face a civil lawsuit as well. Disclosure of an individual’s STD is grounds for a lawsuit based on public disclosure of private facts, as well as invasion of privacy. Your attorney may pursue the suit under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Therefore, if you contract an STD from your partner, make sure that you keep it between you and your attorney. In an emotional state, it’s understandable that you may feel the urge to slander the person’s name across social media channels. Avoid this behavior at all costs; it could result in a lawsuit being brought against you by the defendant.
When to Pursue an STD Case?
Before proceeding with a lawsuit for wrongful infection, the case details need to be carefully reviewed by your Miami STD attorney. Each case has its merits. Therefore, you will need to be open and honest with your attorney. If your injury lawyer decides you have a valid claim, here are the steps you will need to follow to ensure justice.
1. Defining the Type of STD
For the first step in the process, you’ll need a medical report from your doctor outlining your STD. This report sets the parameters for your case. The court only considers severe cases relating to chronic STDs. For example, contracting gonorrhea does not have any long-term adverse health effects if the infection is discovered early and treated right away. However, other diseases, such as HIV and herpes, are long-term health issues that affect an individual’s well-being for the rest of their life. These types of infections demand justice through the court system.
2. Compiling Legal Damages
Filing a lawsuit for personal injury as a result of an STD is a complex and sensitive issue that your Miami personal injury lawyer takes seriously. While you may be feeling anger, your attorney will remain level headed and objective during the investigation of your claim. If your attorney feels that the results of their investigation merits a claim, they will begin preparing a lawsuit, seeking monetary compensation for your infection.
The chances of winning a suit based on a treatable infection are very small, so don’t be offended if your attorney advises you against filing a lawsuit. Don’t take it personally. Your attorney knows what’s best. They probably feel that the economic costs of fighting the case will outweigh the potential settlement. However, severe life-long diseases, such as HIV or herpes, are cause for concern and grounds for a case.
3. Building Evidence for Your Case
Your attorney establishes your case by building evidence against the defendant. They need to prove that your partner was diagnosed or aware of their condition before they infected you and that you were unaware of their status. This lack of physical evidence may require your lawyer to dig through the defendant’s medical records and even record testimony from previous partners.
4. Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the time you have to file your personal injury case against the defendant. In the state of Florida, the statute limits the filing period to four years from the date of diagnosis of the infection. Speak to a Miami STD transmission lawyer about the validity of your claim.
5. Seek Settlement or Go to Trial?
Your personal injury lawyer in Miami will advise you on the correct path of action to take against the defendant. There are two means of obtaining damages for an STD. The first involves the guilty party paying a settlement fee out of court, and the alternative method is the court issuing a verdict in your favor after a trial.
Most personal injury cases related to wrongful infection of an STD rarely end up in court. Once the lawsuit goes to court, it’s in the public domain. The chances are that the defendant will want to prevent this from happening. Most cases end with the guilty party agreeing to a fair settlement negotiated by the attorneys representing both parties. However, in cases where parties cannot reach a settlement, they may decide to take their chances in court.
Tips for Finding Legal Representation
If you’ve been infected with an STD by your partner, it’s time to seek legal counsel. Visit the offices of our Miami STD lawyer and explain the circumstances of your infection. Our lawyer understands your need for complete confidentiality, and the law keeps everything you tell them protected under attorney-client confidentiality.
Hiring an experienced lawyer is your best chance at receiving justice for your wrongful infection. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life, free from disease. If someone knowingly infects you with an STD, he or she should be responsible for compensating you for your loss. Get the justice you deserve and speak to a legal professional today.