New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Libel and Slander: The Basics of Defamation Law and Defamation Claims
Posted on Apr 9, 2016 in Personal Injury
When a false statement is made against an individual with the purpose of harming their reputation, it is termed defamation of character. It is a complex sort of civil injury or tort as it is difficult to prove in a court of law.
How to Prove Defamation of Character
In order to win a case of defamation of character, you must first of all, prove without a doubt that the statement about you is completely untrue. Once you have managed to prove that it is false, you must prove that the other person made the false statement with the intent of harming you.
- The statement made against you could be written, spoken, pictured, or gestured. When the false statement is spoken, it is considered as “slander,” while the written falsity is known as “libel.” Most courts, apart from juries and insurance companies, consider libel to be more harmful because statements that have been written last longer than spoken words.
- A third party – someone besides the person who made the statement or the person about whom the statement was made – needs to have seen or heard the statement. The statement needs to be made public via TV, radio, gossip, speeches, or even conversation. It could also have been written in newspapers or magazines.
- A statement of defamation must be false or else it will not be considered damaging. Most opinions or statements do not count as defamation as it is not objectively possible to prove that they are false.
- The statement must be harmful or injurious. The basic tenet of defamation law is taking care of injuries to reputation and as such, people who sue for defamation of character need to show that their reputations have been put on the line.
- Finally, to prove that the statement is defamatory, it needs to be “unprivileged.” In some cases, a person cannot be sued for defamation even if a statement has been made that can be proved false. For instance, a witness who falsely testifies in court or at a deposition cannot be sued as this is considered “privileged.” Freedom of speech plays such a vital role that speakers need not be constricted by worries of being sued for defamation.
How to go about Winning a Defamation Claim
If you want to see yourself or someone you know win a defamation claim, you need to prove that your reputation has been ruined by the false statement. The main aim of defamation law is to strike a balance between protection of people from having false statements made about them and the permission of information, opinions and ideas. However, the sad truth remains that you need to wait for the false statement to cause disruptions or harm in your life so that you can take the necessary legal actions against those who have defamed your character or reputation.
The Best Law Firm in the Area
If you have been a victim of defamation, you should seek the counsel of personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
The Mets have a fantastic pitching staff right now. Well, us a RMFW Law have a marvelous lawyer staff every year. We know how to win cases and we know what a winning case looks like. If you have a viable case give us a call. That is about the only thing we cannot do for you, well, and fix your car’s transmission and a few other things but that is beside the point. We build strong legal cases and win them – that is what we do! RMFW Law knows how to poke holes in the other side’s case and we work with dignity and professionalism. We are successful for a reason. RMFW Law looks forward to hearing from you.