Should You File A Defamation Suit?

When someone defames you, the injury your reputation incurs can be more painful than a physical injury and harder to recover from. This smear against you can be verbal, in print, or online, but if it is untrue and damages you, a personal injury lawyer can help you set the record straight and possibly receive compensation.

Defamation Standards

When someone deliberately lies about you in print, that is called libel. Verbal defamation is slander. Because the United States believes strongly in its citizens' first amendment rights, you cannot sue every time someone says or writes something hurtful about you, especially if the misinformation was an honest mistake. People can insult you and be rude. That's simply life. Although the state laws about defamation vary, in general you have to prove several things. First, the statement had to be "published," which simply means it had to be spoken, written, or even "gestured." In addition, it had to be harmful to you, witnessed by a third party, and demonstrably false. A person's unfavorable opinion about your looks, for instance, is not defamation because this is an opinion that cannot be proven right or wrong.  In other words, if someone at work says you are the "worst employee ever," it doesn't rise to the level of defamation.


You may be able to settle a defamation suit out of court, depending on what your needs are. Obviously, if you lost your job over a slanderous accusation, you will need financial damages. In some cases, you may be happy with a simple apology or a retraction of the offending libelous item.Your lawyer can file a complaint on your behalf in order to help you repair your life. The process can be a slow one, and you will need to provide all the documentation possible to prove that you've been harmed, particularly financially. You can expect to be deposed by the opposing counsel. After the facts of the case have been established, you may be able to settle. If not, you your attorney may recommend that you proceed to court.

A good attorney will advise you on whether filing a defamation complaint is in your best interest. The process can be a long one, and nothing can totally erase libel and slander once it is out in the public domain. However, you can take back some control of your life by pursing action against the perpetrators and receiving damages for all the agony their actions caused you. Learn more by speaking with your attorney.