Libel and slander is a common thing in the legal world. Yet, you may not understand the legal basis of a typical defamation lawsuit. For instance, libel is when defamation is written. On the other hand, slander is spoken defamation. Therefore, it’s essential to know what defamation of character is.
Most importantly, for you to understand its legal definition. This should help you know how to prove defamation to bring a successful civil lawsuit against your wrongdoer. So you should keep on reading to find out more.
What is Defamation of Character?
Knowing what defamation of character should help you keep your head up when the whole world is against you. In simple terms, defamation of nature is what happens when someone makes a false statement about you. Generally, the person who makes a false statement about you will publish it. This is an attempt to tarnish your name. As a result, this harms your personality. You lose credibility in your personal or professional capacity. Moreover, this can lead to other damages to your person. For example, you’re likely to experience emotional distress and financial loss.
However, you should know that there are things that are not considered defamation. Let’s say your neighbor, Joe decides to write an opinion about you. The chances are that this is a protected opinion. Unless he presents whatever has been said about you as if it were fact. A court will avoid hindering any public speech. Even though there’s a thin line, opinions are generally considered to be protected speech. This is why some statements that may appear to be an opinion can be persecuted as defamation. There is always a fine distinction that you should bear in mind.
What You Should Prove
First things first, you should know that it’s different for a private individual and a public figure trying to prove a defamation claim. As a private individual, you have to prove that the statement is indeed false. It doesn’t matter how unflattering a statement is, if it’s true, then your claim will be barred. The thing is, truth is the only obsolete defense for a defamation claim. Once you’ve proven that it’s false, you should confirm that the statement was made by someone who knew that it was false at the time of their utterances. Or they should’ve recklessly disregarded whether it was true or false when they made it.
Lastly, this statement should be published. For example, this person posted it on their social media platforms. However, if the person who says anything that’s false about you to a third party, that is also considered a published statement. So, if you’re able to prove these three things then a court can deduce that you’ve suffered damages to your personality. This should result in you receiving compensation for any losses that you can prove.
But proving that the person made a malicious statement against you isn’t as easy as you think it is. If you’re a public figure, it gets tricky to succeed with a defamation claim. The fact is that you’re in the public eye and there are vast questionable and undisputed statements that you’re exposed to.
In summary, keeping your head up when the world is making false accusations about you isn’t easy. Moreover, succeeding in a defamation claim is not as easy as you think it is. If you’re trying to bring this matter to court like how I found it necessary to do, you should know how to make a distinction between a defamatory statement and an opinion. In addition, you should learn more about the process involved in proving your claim.