Intentional Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Intentional Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Intentionally exposing another to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can expose the transmitting partner to serious legal liability. Although it may not be possible to ever fully recover from some diseases, the law offers relief for the medical expenses related to and mental stress someone suffers after having been exposed to an STD. 

What Qualifies as Intentional Exposure to a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Exposure to a sexually transmitted disease is considered intentional when:

Most states hold that there is a duty to warn the other. The type of notice required usually depends on the nature of the disease and the method of transmission.  

What Is Negligent Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Disease

The law has established that a certain level of care exists between everyone. For instance, a person has a duty not to harm others. Negligence occurs when someone acts below that level of care. Negligence is not a strict definition, but is rather defined by the specific actions of a person in a situation.

With respect to STDs, if someone is infected by a partner, a charge of negligent exposure would essentially be alleging that their partner's conduct infecting them with the disease fell below a reasonable level of care. In determining a standard, the judge presiding over the case may ask if a reasonable person in the same situation commit the same acts that lead to the infection. Factors such as being sexually active but not getting screen by a doctor or having multiple partners without wearing protection would all be considered.

It is worth noting that accidental exposure is very difficult to litigate, if not impossible.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Recover Damages?

It can be very difficult to prove that exposure to a sexually transmitted disease was intentional. A personal injury attorney can help determine if there is enough evidence to demonstrate that exposure was intentional, and can also represent you in court if you decide to sue for damages. 

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Last Modified: 06-27-2014 12:28 PM PDT

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