In the United States alone, over 19 million people acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD) every year. While it’s clear that contracting an STD has medical consequences, people often overlook the potential legal ramifications. In some states, people are legally obligated to tell potential sexual partners about their STD and take appropriate steps to prevent its spread. If your partner has an STD and didn’t tell you, you do have legal recourse if you get sick. Depending on local laws, you may have one or two legal options to pursue.
If you fall ill and your partner failed to disclose their STD, you can file a civil lawsuit. In this instance, your Palm Springs personal injury law firm would file a complaint for negligence, personal injury or both. If you win your case, you will be compensated for your medical expenses. In the cases of incurable diseases such as HIV and AIDS, you may also be able to recover costs you could potentially incur in the future. You may also request compensation for the emotional trauma of an STD diagnosis.
In California and several other states, those with an STD have a legal obligation to tell partners about their disease. Failure to do so is considered battery and is a criminal offense. California also considers it a felony for anyone who is HIV positive to withhold their HIV status from their partner, engage in unprotected sex or intentionally infect another person with the virus.
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If a partner does any of the above to you, contact your local authorities as well as our Palm Springs personal injury law firm. If you elect to press charges, your partner will be arrested and tried for their crimes, possibly resulting in fines, jail time and probation.
If you have an STD, be aware of your legal responsibilities and honor them to avoid problems. If you’ve been infected by someone who failed to inform you of their STD, don’t hesitate to stand up for your rights. See your doctor right away and then contact an attorney who can help you get your medical bills paid.