Libel refers to harmful statements that can be seen, such as a written publication. Slander, on the other hand, refers to defamatory statements that are heard, such as an online video or radio broadcast. Continue reading to learn more about libel and slander, and how to prove fault in a defamation lawsuit.
It is an on-going struggle for courts to determine which statements are defamatory since the possibilities are endless. In common law, a defamatory statement is a published communication (either radio, written, or video) that tends to harm an individual’s reputation by lowering them in the estimation of their community or deterring third persons or entities from associating with them. This is according to the American Restatement of Torts, or “The Restatement.”
Proving Fault for Libel or SlanderUnder tort law, the plaintiff holds the burden of proving their opponents fault in a defamation case. For this reason, it is vital to retain the services of a seasoned personal injury attorney for safe, secure, and strategic representation. They have the knowledge, experience, and resources to win the jury’s vote and protect a person’s rights to compensation. In order to prove their defendant’s fault, a victim must prove 4 specific elements:
❶ It must be proven that the defendant made a statement that was false and defamatory to the plaintiff.
❷ It must be proven that the defendant made the defamatory publication to a third party.
❸ It must be proven that publishing the communication was an act of negligence on the publisher’s behalf.
❹ In some cases, the plaintiff must prove special damages. They must show how the defamatory statement or publication caused harm to their reputation and/or well-being.