If someone ruins your reputation by libel or slander, you have the grounds to sue them for defamation. Slander is making false statements about an individual, while libel is publishing a written statement about a person. Both of these actions can ruin the reputation of the person. It is not easy to win a defamation case due to the burden of proof. You will need to prove that the statement about you was defamatory and caused damage. Therefore, you will need to build a strong case to back your claim. Here is what you need to build a case when suing for defamation.
- Hire a Lawyer
When building a defamation case, you first need to hire a lawyer. It is easy to determine if you have a case and analyze the extent of damage to your reputation. A lawyer will also help you gather everything you need to prove your claim. They will also evaluate the available options and educate you about your rights. Therefore, if you want to build a winning case, ensure you hire a Douglasville personal injury attorney. The lawyer should be experienced in handling defamation cases to provide the best help.
- Analyze the Defamatory Statement
Next, you need to analyze the statement said or published about you. Does it fall under slander, libel, or both? Remember, these categories are handled differently. Therefore, you need to establish if the statement against you was spoken over the radio or other places like the TV. Check if it is published on social media, in newspapers, etc. Libel defamation tends to cause more harm and damage than slander defamation. It is also easy to prove, helping you build a strong case.
- Prove Publication of the Statement
As mentioned, libel defamation makes a strong case. Therefore, to prove defamation, check if the statements made against you were published anywhere. Publishing does not only mean the statement was written in a newspaper only. It also means it was made available to the public through the radio, television, speech, gossip, or social media sites.
- Prove the Statement Was Untrue
You also have the duty to prove that the statement made against you is untrue. This will give you the ground to sue the person behind the statement. Remember, opinion statements cannot be considered proof of defamation since opinions are subjective.
- Prove the Statement Caused Damages
If you can prove the statement was false and not an opinion, you may provide proof of the injuries caused by the statement. Show how the statement caused various things like loss of employment, loss of customers, loss of a political seat, harassment, isolation, etc.
- Check If the Statement is Protected
Some statements may be protected in some situations, meaning you cannot sue someone for making them. For example, a witness can give false evidence about you in court. That means their statement is protected, and you cannot consider it defamation. Other protected statements are those made by government officials and during jury proceedings and legislative debates.
Proving defamation and damages behind a statement made by someone else is not a simple thing. However, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, it is easy to build a solid case to prove you were defamed and the defamation caused damage.