Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
Officials in Mooresville, NC were worried by a new case of the red measles (also known as rubeola) and the danger it presents to the general public. An unvaccinated individual had recently returned from a trip to India and presented with symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of rubeola include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a sore throat along with a rash that spreads across the person’s body. Public officials are concerned about the spread of the disease amongst unvaccinated individuals. Prior to the successful introduction of a vaccine, various measles strains killed hundreds of individuals each year.
The Competing Interests of Unvaccinated Individuals
This most recent public health concern highlights competing issues when it comes to public health: on the one hand, there is a concern for how unvaccinated individuals can present a danger to other members of the public; on the other hand is the right of individuals and parents to make decisions affecting themselves and their children, including what vaccines – if any – they receive. While those who are vaccinated against a certain disease rarely contract that disease from an infected person, unvaccinated individuals may remain unvaccinated for a variety of reasons. In such circumstances, conflicts can arise between individuals who choose to be unvaccinated, those who are unable to be vaccinated for health or other reasons, and the state authorities who are interested in preventing any sort of epidemic.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Become Infected by an Unvaccinated individual?
Suppose, for instance, that you become ill after coming into contact with a person who chose not to obtain a vaccination for religious or personal reasons. Suppose further that you were unable to receive the vaccination yourself because of a medical issue or complication. As a result of your illness, you suffer medical expenses and time missed from work. Are you able to recover any compensation for these losses?
While there are not any notorious examples of such a lawsuit, it does not appear far-fetched that a court may entertain such a suit for compensation. In the typical negligence case, the injured party must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty to act in a certain manner, the defendant failed to so act, and that this failure to act in a certain way caused injury or loss to the individual. A victim who becomes ill due to an unvaccinated individual could argue that the unvaccinated defendant owed the victim a duty not to infect him or her, that the defendant breached this duty by failing to take reasonable measures to protect the defendant from infection and from spreading any infection, and that as a result the victim suffered injury.
Contact Bice Law, LLC
A lawsuit against an unvaccinated individual for spreading a disease to another is a rather untested area of law. However, when you have been injured by another (regardless of the circumstances), contact us at (855) 5-BICE-LAW for a free consultation. We will review the facts of your case with you and advise you on the compensation to which you may be entitled.