Understanding Slander Lawsuit Cases
Slander is a category of defamation. Defamation is any statement made by another party, written or spoken, that damages someone’s reputation. Slander is the spoken category of defamation. If you believe that you have been slandered by another person, and you think that you can sue them for your damages, this article is for you!
Defamation – Harm, Free Speech, and Reputation
- Harm: In defamation cases, harm generally is defined as “damage to the person’s reputation within the society”. Defamation has grown into a complex notion loaded with safeguards and criteria designed to screen out weak or even spurious allegations, owing to the intangibility of the notion of reputation and the predisposition of some people to react emotionally to insults.
- Free Speech: The right to free speech notion also complicates the defamation cases even more. The right to free speech does not apply in all circumstances. Because serious damage to a person’s image can have a serious impact on their livelihood and well-being, defamation laws attempt to strike a balance between reputational protection and the constitutional right to free speech.
- Reputation: Defamation laws differ by state but a “defamatory statement” is commonly characterized as one that would harm a person’s reputation if the interpretation was made by an ordinary and reasonable person”. A judge will decide whether or not the statement is defamatory. If it is not certain that the statement is defamatory, because of the context or possible other interpretations, the jury will make an assessment.
Elements of Slander Lawsuit Cases
There are two categories of slander – slander and slander per se:
|Slander||You must show that the defendant made a defamatory statement to a third party and that you incurred “special damages” as a result of an ordinary slander defamation case. Special damages include tangible harms such as losing customers, being fired, or suffering financial loss.|
|Slander Per Se||You do not have to prove special damages in slander per se cases. This is due to the fact that slander per se claims cover a broad range of defamatory statements that are presumed to be harmful to you.
Evidence and Defenses to Slander Lawsuit Cases
If you would like to have a strong case against the person who slandered you, you need to have the following elements proven:
- The statement made must be false and you should be able to prove that it was false
- A third party must hear or witness the statement
- The statement must have harmed your reputation in some way
- The statement does not qualify as privileged.
The following are some of the examples of common defenses against a slander lawsuit case:
- Truth: If the defendant can prove that the statement made was true, you have no right to sue them.
- Fair Comment: If the defamatory statement was not said as a fact and was actually an opinion or a comment, you again would have no case against the defendant.
- Privilege: If the defamatory statement was said in a public hearing, governmental procedure, or court session, those statements are privileged and cannot be sued for slander.
Write a Cease and Desist Letter With DoNotPay!
If you believe that you have been slandered by a person and you are thinking about your legal options, directly filing a lawsuit might not be the best option for you. The first step to take should be to write a cease and desist letter to the defendant to make them aware of the fact that you are serious about filing a lawsuit against them. With this letter, you might be able to resolve the issue out of court and save time and money! However, the letter should be powerful enough to let the defendant know that you are serious. DoNotPay can help you to write a strongly worded cease and desist letter! All you have to do is:
1. Search “defamation” on DoNotPay’s website or app.
2. Choose slander and answer the following questions:
- What was the defamatory statement and how was it false?
- What are your damages as a result of the slander?
That’s it! After DoNotPay composes a strongly worded letter, you can go ahead and send it to the person who made the defamatory statement!
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