Do You Need Representation in a Defamation of Character Case?

Defamation of Character

What Is Defamation of Character?

Defamation occurs when an individual makes untrue statements that harm your reputation. If your reputation suffers harm, you lose your job, or you encounter another hardship because of someone else’s false claims, you may be able to sue him or her for compensation.

There are two different types of defamation:

  • Libel: This is defamation in written form. It can be printed in a newspaper or magazine or simply published on the internet. 
  • Slander: This is spoken defamation. Slander could occur over the radio, on a television program, on a podcast or during a live speech.

Defamation can carry serious consequences for the victim. It may tarnish your reputation at work or school. It can even result in your firing or suspension from your duties. This can also impact your reputation amongst friends and family and throughout the community, affecting every aspect of your day-to-day life.

One entity can defame another through endless situations, but a few common scenarios include:

  • Claiming that a person committed or was otherwise involved with a serious crime
  • Intentionally implying that a business engages in illegal practices
  • Making claims that clearly harm someone’s reputation or impact his or her income

Proving defamation in your case can be difficult, especially when it comes to separating opinion from slander and libel. A lawyer specializing in defamation of character cases can help you get rightful compensation for the damages suffered as a result of another’s actions and ill-will.

Why You Need an Experienced Attorney to Represent Your Case

You have every right to bring a case against someone who damaged your reputation with slander or libel. That said, you must remember that every citizen has the right to free speech.

As a result, you need to prove your case with strong evidence. You have to provide credible evidence that the defendant made the false statements and that the defendant should have reasonably known the statement was false, along with other measures. An attorney can help you build your case and gather the necessary evidence to uphold your claims in court.

It can be incredibly difficult to prove the offending party knowingly broadcasted or published the false information. You can expect the other party to build a strong case to prove they had no prior knowledge that the information was incorrect.

Having an attorney on your side familiar with defamation laws and one experienced in handling such cases can greatly increase your chances of successfully securing the compensation you seek for damages suffered.

How Much Compensation Can You Get for Defamation?

The amount of money you can win when suing someone for defamation depends on several different factors.

The first factor to consider is whether you can prove an exact dollar amount for your damages. This usually applies when you lost your income because of the defamation, you lost clients as a business owner or you suffered another economic loss. This value could also take into consideration the likely event of future losses as a result of the reputation damage.

If you needed medical treatment of any kind as a result of the defamation, you may also add this amount to the damages.

More difficult to value are the damages you may seek for pain and suffering. If you suffered from anxiety, severe emotional distress or loss of sleep, or if the defamation otherwise impacted your ability to enjoy life, the court considers these factors.

Your attorney can evaluate your case and determine which types of damages and how much money you can successfully sue the defendant for.

Know Your State’s Laws

The definition of defamation is generally the same across the country. However, your state may have special rules and regulations regarding such cases. This is particularly true when it comes to the statute of limitations.

For the best outcome, partner with an attorney who has extensive experience working defamation cases.

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