Protecting Those Injured by False, Harmful statements.
Words matter. They can hurt. In the United States, we enjoy so many freedoms, free speech being among them. This does not mean, however, that the law allows us to say whatever we want at any given time. Legal restrictions on speech do exist and they exist for good reason. Simply put, defamation law exists because people should not be able to hurt other people by spreading false information about them. Written defamation is referred to as “libel.” Spoken defamation is referred to as “slander.” Rather than being a criminal wrong, defamation is a civil wrong. A person who has been the subject of a defamatory statement can file a civil action seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered and may also force the offending party to end the defamation and even issue a retraction of a defamatory statement. Fazli & Associates fights for those who have suffered due to someone else spreading false information about them. We will help you enforce your legal rights to rectify the wrong committed against you.
What Needs to Be Proven in a Defamation Claim?
While the specifics of what needs to be proven in a defamation claim will vary slightly from state to state, you will generally need to show the following about the potentially defamatory statement:
It was published: This does not necessarily mean that it was written in a newspaper, book, etc., although this is one way a statement may be published. What published really means is that a third party, meaning someone other than the person who made the statement and other than the person the statement was about, heard or saw the statement.
It was false: If the statement was true, you do not have a defamation claim. This is the case even if the statement was highly embarrassing or mean. The statement needs to be false. Because of this, most opinion statements will not qualify as defamation because you cannot prove an opinion to be objectively false. It is someone’s personal belief.
It was injurious: The statement must have caused some kind of harm. The whole point of a defamation claim is to try and rectify that wrong. You may have lost a job or suffered damage to your personal or professional reputation. You may have been subject to severe emotional distress due to backlash resulting from the statement. These are all things that would substantiate a claim that the defamatory statement was injurious.
It was unprivileged: Sometimes, you cannot sue a person for defamation even if the statement they made was false because the statement was privileged. This is because lawmakers believe that those who are speaking in situations where privilege applies need to be free of constraints such as fear of being sued for defamation when they are speaking. An example of privilege would be a witness testifying in court (although if they make false statements, they may be prosecuted for perjury).
At Fazli & Associates, our team of experienced civil litigation attorneys understand what needs to be proven in defamation claims and we know how to effectively present this to the court.
What are the Potential Damages in a Defamation Claim?
Damages in a civil claim such as one for defamation, are mainly intended to make the injured party whole again, or at least try to do so. In a defamation claim, you may seek damages for mental suffering. You may also seek actual damages to compensation you for harm sustained by your reputation. If the defamation resulted in material loss, you may seek compensation for this as well.
Additionally, if you can demonstrate that you have suffered an economic loss due to the defamation, the court may award you special damages. You may have lost your job. Your business may have sustained a loss in profit. If these things were caused by the defamation, you may seek compensation for these losses in your claim. Also, under certain circumstances and depending on the jurisdiction, you may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer in particularly egregious cases.
Fazli & Associates understands the depth of how a defamatory act can impact the life of the victim. We are here to set things right after you have suffered such a wrong.
Fighting for Victims of Defamation.
If you have suffered harm because someone spread lies about you, the law is on your side. Filing a defamation action can lead not only to a monetary recovery, but can force the person spreading patently false information about you to stop. Fazli & Associates fights for our clients who have been victimized by defamatory statements. You deserve to be free from fear that someone else is spreading hurtful untruths. We are here to put a stop to it. Contact us today.