Winning a Defamation Case

  • By:David Bate

Personal Injury Lawyer

Has your reputation been damaged by defamatory statements from someone? If so, you should speak with a dedicated defamation lawyer. Many people work their entire life to build a trustworthy, dependable reputation, and all of that can be damaged if someone makes defamatory statements about you. That’s why an attorney will work hard to restore what you have spent a lifetime building. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it becomes much easier to spread defamatory content quickly to a broad audience, and fact-checking often goes undone. If you have been a victim of online defamation, read on.

Who should you sue?

The first step in deciding the best course of action is determining who is at fault and who you should sue. One thought some people have is to see the host of the website for the defamatory comment, but in 1995, the United States Congress passed an act entitled “Communications Decency Act”. This protects the website hosts (also known as Internet Service Providers) from such defamation allegations. Thus, if you believe you have been defamed online, this suit should be brought against the person(s) who said the defamatory comments.   

What is online defamation?

First, we must determine what defamation is. This is considered to be a false statement about another person (the plaintiff) that was so injurious, it damaged their reputation. The below examples will help define what defamation is and is not:

  • Opinion. Just because one might label a statement as an “opinion” does not automatically exclude it from being defamatory. A court will look at whether one’s “opinion” could be read or heard as a verifiable fact, thus making it defamatory.
  • Statement of Fact. An example of a statement of fact could be in the case of a Yelp review. If a customer writes a review that says your restaurant was infested with cockroaches, you could sue for defamation. However, you would have to prove that there was, in fact, not a cockroach infestation and that the defendant was making false claims.
  • Modifications. Many instances of defamatory content can be found in modified photographs. If a photograph has been edited in a way that is injurious to the reputation of the person in a photo, even if the editing is minuscule, this could be considered defamation.

It can be incredibly easy for someone to think they are anonymously spreading falsities and lies about another through the mask of social media. If you or a loved one have had their reputation ruined by someone on social media or through the internet, you are not alone. A personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale, FL relies on will work hard to gather the evidence needed for your case.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury and defamation.

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