STD Contraction Civil Lawyer
It is against the law for a person to knowingly infect someone or put someone at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Because of the emotional turmoil that comes along with contracting an STD, particularly an incurable one, intentionally or knowingly transmitting an STD can result in both civil and criminal liability for the offender. Causing harm to another in a careless or reckless manner is negligence. If you or someone you love contracted an STD because of someone else’s negligent actions and/or failure to disclose their STD to you, then you may be able to seek legal representation for STD Contraction to hold the person accountable for their actions. The Carlson Law Firm has an STD contraction lawyer that is prepared to bring these types of claims against individuals who are responsible for knowingly transmitting their STD.
Holding your abuser accountable in civil can help you get the closure you need. Civil courts do not need to prove innocence or guilt. Civil court findings usually result in an offender or negligible third party paying a survivor monetary damages. A civil claim can help you with the financial resources you need to rebuild your life. It can also provide you with the resources to receive the medical treatment you need. The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience representing personal injury clients. In addition, we also have L. Todd Kelly, an award-winning attorney who has put together a world-class team to represent you during this vulnerable time in your life.
How is Transmitting an STD a Civil Offense?
No matter how the harm occurs, causing harm in a careless or reckless manner is negligence. In order for a court to find negligence, a person must have a duty and breach that duty in some way. The breach of duty must cause damage to the person or property of another. When it comes to STDs, this means that those with infections have a responsibility to not spread the disease or conceal it from others.
What do I need to file an STD Lawsuit?
When you find out that you’ve contracted a sexually transmitted disease, getting justice may be the first thought on your mind. However, filing an STD lawsuit is not as simple as many people may believe. Depending on your state laws, you may be able to sue them over your STD contraction. This is particularly true when your partner knew about their infection. To seek justice, you will need to prove liability.
One way that you can prove liability is by proving the defendant, the person responsible for infecting you, was negligent. To do this, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant knew or should have known that they had an STD that was likely to pass on to the plaintiff.
In most cases, a judge will find that a defendant owes a duty to disclose to a sexual partner that they have an STD. Intentionally or knowingly spreading an STD without disclosing your status to your partners can result in a lawsuit claiming negligence. Note that unintentionally spreading the disease is not a defense in a negligence lawsuit. In addition, taking precautions such as using condoms may not absolve someone from liability.
In addition to negligence, spreading an STD can also lead to a lawsuit claiming civil battery. A civil battery is an intentional tort and involves the intentional harmful touching of another person resulting in injury or damage. Unlike negligence, the laws regarding civil battery do not take intent consideration. In fact, going forward with intercourse with the knowledge that transmission could occur is enough.
To hold a defendant accountable under a civil battery claim, it is necessary that the defendant have actual knowledge that they were infected with an STD, or likely has one.
A fraud cause of action is possible when the defendant knew that they had, or were likely to have an STD, but hid that information in order to have sex.
In some cases it also possible to sue a person for exposure to an STD—even if no transmission occurred. This kind of case can be based on negligence or intentional infliction of emotional distress. If you were exposed to or have an STD contraction, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified STD contraction lawyer and a knowledgeable legal team who can help you get justice.
Is it illegal to “out” someone with an STD?
A civil lawsuit can also get you justice if a medical professional discloses your STD status. STDs are generally considered private and confidential. Because of this, hospitals, doctors, nurses, social service agencies and schools are forbidden from disclosing a person’s status without explicit permission to do so. Disclosing someone’s STD status can create liability for invasion of privacy and public disclosure of private facts. This means that disclosing someone’s status can result in a lawsuit under the federal privacy rule Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
When it comes to medical professionals disclosing a patient’s STD status without permission can result in professional censure as well as civil charges.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Contracting an STD can be an extremely emotional experience. Further, it can make you susceptible to developing certain cancers or contracting other types of STDs. At The Carlson Law Firm, an STD contraction lawyer is prepared to bring claims against individuals for transmitting diseases such as, but not limited to, the following:
Genital herpes is a viral STD. There are two forms of herpes: HSV1 and HSV2. The first type of herpes is generally described as a “cold sore” which appears on the mouth/lips and goes away with time. HPV2 or genital herpes manifests itself as sores on the genitalia. Herpes is not completely curable but can be treated with anti-viral medications.
Symptoms: Herpes may no have symptoms that you can see or feel. Or in some cases, the symptoms may be so mild that it is difficult to notice. The most common indication of herpes is a group of itchy or painful blisters on your genitals. Other symptoms include:
- Burning when you urinate
- Having trouble peeing because the sores block your urethra
- Pain around your genitals
- Flu-like symptoms, such as, fever, chills, headache, swollen glands in your pelvic area, throat and under your arms, feeling achy and tired.
Hepatitis B is a serious liver condition caused by a virus. There are several ways to contract HBV, one way is through sexual contact with an infected person. It is transmitted through the exchange of blood and body fluids especially through anal sex. Hepatitis B is the only sexually transmitted disease that has a safe and effective vaccine to protect against possible infection.
Most people who get the virus will not continue to be infectious or have the ability to pass on the virus. A small number die (less than 1 percent) and others will always carry the virus and be able to pass it on to others. Carriers typically go on to have chronic liver disease or develop cancer of the liver.
Symptoms: Warning signs of HBV include:
- Light-colored poop
- Fatigue that persists for weeks or months
- Stomach trouble, such as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that can lead to AIDS and other life-threatening conditions. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids. This includes not just genital fluids, but blood and even breast milk. HIV can be treated, but not cured. The sooner treatment is administered, the better the chances can be of avoiding AIDS.
Symptoms: In the early weeks of HIV infection, it’s common for people to be without symptoms. However, others may experience fever, headache and a lack of energy. These symptoms will often go away and it may take 10 years or more for more severe symptoms to appear. Other symptoms include:
- Skin rashes or sores
- Swollen glands
- Infections, such as pneumonia
- Fever and night sweats
- Menstrual changes (in women)
- Bacterial and year infections
- Increased risk for STIs including frequent and worse genital herpes outbreaks
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Advanced symptoms of HIV include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Weight loss
- Severe headache
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Trouble swallowing
The most advanced stage of HIV is called acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is at this point that suffers experience short-term memory loss, mental confusion and comas. In addition, the immune system is severely compromised. There are certain cancers that mark the transition from HIV to AIDS. These cancers include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma.
Many researchers consider the human papillomavirus (HPV) the most common STD. HPV is the virus commonly associated with cervical cancer, but not all HPV cases lead to cancer. Some people have no symptoms while others suffer from somewhat painful and embarrassing symptoms.
Symptoms: High-risk HPV doesn’t have symptoms until its already caused serious health problems. Regular check-ups are necessary to find abnormal cell changes, that if left untreated, could develop into cancer.
This STD can be cured with treatment. Women are infected in their cervix while chlamydia in men affects the penis/urethra. Chlamydia can lead to pain during intercourse. Many do not detect that they have contracted this disease until months later, although symptoms can appear within weeks.
Symptoms: Chlamydia may take several weeks after you’ve got contracted the infection to appear. Symptoms typically include:
- Pain or burning while peeing
- Pain during sex
- Lower belly pain
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (yellowish with a strong smell)
- Bleeding between periods
- Pus or watery/milky discharge from the penis
- Swollen or tender testicles
- Pain, discharge or bleeding around the anus
This is a bacterial STD very similar to chlamydia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 700,000 new reported cases of gonorrhea every year.
Symptoms: Most women who contract gonorrhea don’t have symptoms. If they do, the symptoms will show up within about a week of being infected. Symptoms include:
- Pain or burning while peeing
- Abnormal discharge that may be yellowish or bloody
- Bleeding between periods
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have symptoms if they contract gonorrhea. These symptoms usually begin within a week after the infection:
- Yellow, white or green discharge from the penis
- Pain or burning feeling when you pee
- Pain or swelling in the testicles
Syphilis sores are usually visible. Many people with this disease use condoms to reduce the risk of transmission, but this cannot completely guarantee that it won’t spread. About two to 10 weeks after first sore appears, you may develop the following symptoms:
- A skin rash that causes small, reddish-brown sores
- Sores in your mouth, vagina or anus
- Swollen glands
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Extreme tiredness
- Muscle aches
If you are suffering or have suffered from any of the diseases listed above, contact an STD contraction lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm.
An STD Contraction Lawyer Can Help You Prove Liability in an STD Lawsuit
It can be difficult to prove liability in an STD lawsuit for a few different reasons, but this does not mean that an STD contraction lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm isn’t up for the challenge. Listed below are various hurdles that you might encounter along the way, but that our firm is prepared to handle so you can receive justice.
- Pinpointing exactly who infected you could be difficult, particularly if you have had more than one sexual partner in recent months. Some people do not find out they have an STD for a long time, which could make it even more difficult to pinpoint the at-fault party.
- Simply transmitting an STD isn’t enough to make someone liable for another’s condition. A person can be liable if it can be shown that they know about their condition. In addition, if said person proceeded to have intercourse without disclosing the STD to his/her partner.
Have the battle with these types of cases takes place even before a lawyer is contacted. That is, many people who have contracted STDs can be embarrassed about bringing this type of information to loved ones, let alone a lawyer they have just met. The Carlson Law Firm is committed to complete client confidentiality as well as compassionate legal counsel.
The Carlson Law Firm: Attorneys and Counselors at Law
At The Carlson Law Firm, we take our jobs seriously- we are not only attorneys but counselors at law. In STD Contraction cases particularly, our clients need both. This is an incredibly sensitive issue that deserves the utmost care and compassion, while simultaneously one of the most difficult to litigate, which requires aggressive representation. If you have contracted an STD because of someone else’s careless or selfish actions in concealing their condition from you, please contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free and confidential evaluation of your case today.
An STD contraction lawyer can help you hold the liable party accountable for their carelessness. Contact our firm today. We are available 24/7.
There’s a Carlson Law Firm Near You
With over a dozen locations throughout Texas, there’s a Carlson Law Firm near you. We have law offices located in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Round Rock, Austin, San Antonio, Kerrville, Laredo, Bryan, Lubbock, Midland, and Corpus Christi.