Defamation laws are anything but clean-cut, and proving defamation is difficult. While slander and libel are not considered to be criminal issues, they are considered civil wrongs. What you may deem free speech could be an infraction according to the law. If you are pursuing a defamation suit or are being pursued by somebody who is, understanding the laws is essential to building a strong case.
What is defamation?
Defamation is a statement, which can be spoken, written, gestured, or illustrated, that is considered damaging and untrue. Typically, defamation comes in two forms -- libel and slander. Personal injury attorneys may take on both types of cases if evidence of injury exists.
What is the difference between libel and slander?
Libel is a written defamatory statement, and slander is a spoken defamatory statement. Libel can take the form of a Facebook post, magazine article, or blog. Typically, the courts will consider libel to be more serious because it is published publicly rather than spoken.
Slander is a spoken statement that can be to anywhere or to anyone. A third party must be involved, and damage must have been incurred as a result.
How does a victim establish defamation?
First, the victim must establish that the defendant made a statement that was not only published or spoken, but was also false and harmful. Then, the victim must demonstrate in what ways the statement has harmed their reputation, finances, or relationships. This is where the personal injury attorney comes in, as proving the damages can be difficult.
Can a true statement be considered defamation?
Generally, no. True statements are not commonly considered damaging, even if they are cruel. The statement must be presented as fact or truth.
Can opinions be considered defamation?
Generally, no. Opinions are usually not considered defamation because they cannot be proven false in an objective sense. The defamatory statement must have been stated as if it was the truth in order for this to work.
What expenses can I include in my defamation lawsuit?
First, you can include special damages in your lawsuit. These are economic damages that you can calculate that you have lost based on defamation. These damages include lost earnings (past and future), lost business opportunities, and medical bills. In some states, non-economic damages may be included in the lawsuit as well. These include pain and suffering, personal humiliation, and injury to reputation.
Are you considering a defamation suit? It's time to talk to a personal injury attorney, like Starnes Rob P. LLC, Attorney At Law, who works with defamation cases. An attorney strengthens your case, ensuring you don't miss anything.