What is defamation?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2021 | Defamation |

When it comes to defamation cases, there is a thin line between others’ right to free speech and the right to preserve your reputation from lying people.

If you sustain injuries due to someone else’s remarks, you may be able to seek compensation under a defamation lawsuit.

Elements of a defamation case

Not all remarks count as defamation. According to FindLaw, for a defamation case to stand in court, it must contain all the following elements:

  • Someone makes a statement about you
  • A publication distributes the statement in some manner
  • The statement is not based on fact or truth
  • The statement causes you an injury
  • The statement is admissible in court

Some statements are not admissible in court because they fall under a privileged category. Examples of these kinds of statements occur when someone says something that is false and injurious during a privileged act, such as testifying as a witness. However, that situation can set someone up for a perjury lawsuit.

Injuries associated with defamation

Injuries relating to defamation have nothing to do with physicality. Usually, these injuries include the loss of employment, reputation or financial opportunity directly resulting from the false statement.

The rise of social media makes it easier than ever to prove defamation. When someone posts about you on social media, they are technically publishing a statement. Viral posts, for example, have the power to do irreparable damage to someone’s reputation quickly.

Keep in mind that even when it comes to social media, posting facts is not a crime. The crucial element in a defamation case includes the fact that the statement is not true.