Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections passed from person to person through sexual contact. While some STDs can be cured, others cannot and may leave a person with a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial turmoil.
In the state of California, it’s illegal to willfully expose someone to an STD. Those infected with an STD must disclose their condition to their sexual partner before initiating sexual contact. Failure to do so gives the other party ammunition for a lawsuit.
If you have received an unexpected STD from a sexual partner, you may be able to recover compensation from them for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
STDs are startlingly common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in six Americans is infected with genital herpes. More than half of Americans are infected with oral herpes. Other STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are also common, and the number of infections of these diseases has increased dramatically since 2014.
Herpes infections, in particular, are more prevalent in women than men. Approximately 20% of women have a genital herpes infection, compared to 11% of men. This may be because male-to-female transmission is more efficient for the spread of the virus than female-to-male.
How Does a Herpes Infection Happen?
Herpes, also known as the herpes simplex virus (HSV), may spread through any form of sexual contact—oral, vaginal, or anal. There are two main types of the herpes virus, and each affects the host differently.
- HSV-1: This form of the virus typically causes oral herpes. It’s mainly transmitted through oral-to-oral contact, such as kissing. However, it can be spread to the genital area through oral-to-genital contact to cause genital herpes as well.
- HSV-2: This form of the virus typically causes genital herpes. It’s mainly spread through sex or contact with the genital surfaces, skin, sores, or fluid of someone infected with this type of the virus.
The important thing to keep in mind is that many herpes transmissions occur when the infected person displays no symptoms. This is because the infected person is always shedding some amount of the herpes virus, even when no visible symptoms are present.
This is why it’s vitally important (and legally mandated) for individuals with herpes to inform their sexual partners of their infection because sometimes, there is no other way for their partner to know about it.
Legal Ramifications for an STD Transmission
If you have received an unexpected STD transmission from a sexual partner, you may feel scared, alone, vulnerable, and unsure where to turn. During this difficult time, it’s important for you to remember that you did nothing wrong.
Your sexual partner had a legal obligation to disclose their STD infection to you before any sexual contact occurred. Now, their failure to do so has resulted in a traumatic discovery for you.
Know that you have the absolute right to sue if you have been infected by sexual contact from a willfully negligent or misleading sexual parter.
By filing an STD lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Genital herpes
- Cervical cancer from HPV
- Chronic hepatitis B (HBV)
- Medical bills
- Emotional suffering
Filing an STD Lawsuit in California
When filing an STD lawsuit in California, your attorney will need to prove your sexual partner’s liability by showing that they knew or should have known about their STD and acted negligently when they failed to disclose that information to you before sexual activity occurred.
Your sexual partner cannot claim they spread the disease unintentionally as their defense, since they should have been aware of their status. Additionally, your sexual partner cannot claim they used birth control methods as their defense, since condoms can fail and partners should be made aware of the risks associated with sexual contact.
It’s important to keep in mind that the specific type of STD does not matter when filing this type of lawsuit. You may pursue damages against the negligent party for their transmission of herpes, HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (HPV), and more.
When considering to pursue an STD lawsuit, it’s vital that you contact an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of law and can work to protect your privacy and fight for your rights.
At KMD Law, we have extensive experience fighting for those whose rights were violated by the rich and famous, and whose struggles were silenced by their power. Know that you have a voice, and we’re here to make sure it’s heard.
Common Questions When Pursuing an STD Lawsuit
It’s completely normal to feel intimidated and overwhelmed before undergoing this process. As such, we have put together some frequently asked questions from victims like you who went through a similar experience:
Is my reputation at stake?
At KMD Law, our attorneys make your privacy our utmost priority. There is a good chance we will be able to settle your case before going to trial. If going to trial becomes necessary, however, we’ll do everything possible to keep your name out of the press. We prioritize discretion and attorney-client privilege during this process.
I signed a non-disclosure agreement. Do I have a case?
NDAs and other “gag orders” are often used to keep victims from talking after they accept a settlement for an STD claim, particularly when their claim was against a high-profile individual. However, the enforceability of an NDA is highly complicated and needs to be carefully evaluated by a seasoned legal professional.
Is it worth pursuing my claim when it seems like so many walk free?
At KMD Law, we have a long track record of success in handling cases like these. Know, however, that we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us a dime unless we win money for you. So, there is no financial barrier to pursuing your rights.
Learn How We Can Help You Today. You’re Worth It
The most important thing to keep in mind before and during this process is that you’re worth it. You deserve to have your rights protected, and your sexual partner deserves to pay for acting negligently and transmitting an infection to you that could have been prevented had they taken proper care.
At KMD Law, we fight for each and every one of our clients with the utmost care, respect, and privacy. We have represented many individuals in your situation, and we’re here to help you, too.
Contact us today at (833) 456-3529 to learn how we may assist you.