The 3 Elements of Proving a Defamation Lawsuits

Whether you are a victim of libel or slander, there are three particular truths that must exist in order to be successful with a defamation lawsuit. Continue reading to learn what your legal team must be able to prove for you to win your case.

Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm 317-881-2700

Defamation and Freedom of Speech

Defamation laws are in place to protect our reputations from false and injurious statements made by other people or entities. So, if a person or entity (such as business) is guilty of any type of defamation, whether slander, libel, or a combination of both, they can face serious legal consequences in civil court. Although one might argue our 1st Amendment rights, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,”  if there is clear and concise evidence that a statement damaged a another’s reputation, and therefore, caused them to suffer damages and losses, a court will likely side with the victim.

Difference Between Libelous and Slanderous Statements

According to the American Restatement of Torts, a statement can be considered defamatory if, “it tends so to harm the reputation of another as to lower them in the estimation of the community or to deter third persons from associating with him.” Slander is the spoken form of defamation, while libel is the written and published form of defamation.

For instance, defaming a person or business on a radio broadcast would be considered slander, while publishing a blog online with defamatory statements about a person or business would be considered libel. Read our blog, “The Legal Concepts Surrounding Libel, Slander, and Defamation of Character” to learn more information about the differences between these two types of defamation.

Elements to Win a Defamation Case

As a victim of defamation, your hired legal team would hold the burden of proving that the defendant was guilty of libel or slander. In order to do so, your personal injury lawyers would need to demonstrate that 3 specific elements exist:

The defendant made an untrue and defamatory remark regarding the plaintiff.

The defendant made the remark to a 3rd party, knowing (or should have known) that the remark was false.

The publisher demonstrated negligence by publishing the defamatory remarks.

Keep in mind that in some cases, the plaintiff legal team must also prove certain special damages in addition to the elements listed above. It is important to retain experienced personal injury representation if you or your business have been significantly affected by defamatory statements made by another.

Speak to a Trusted Defamation Attorney in Indiana

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with a licensed Indiana personal injury lawyer about your recent defamation experience. Attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are well-versed and experienced in insurance compensation law, and offer free initial consultations to discuss your case and determine the best strategies for your claim. We never collect lawyer fees unless we obtain a settlement or judgment for you. Get started today by calling 317-881-2700 and scheduling your free consultation.

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What are Dignitary Torts?

When it comes to your quality of life, a root of happiness and success stems from self-esteem and self-respect.  Needless to say, your self-dignity is highly valuable, and arguably, priceless. So what does this have to do with dignitary torts? Then answer is, your reputation.

Continue reading to learn more about dignitary torts, including where to find trusted advice for your tort case.

Indiana Defamation Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indiana Defamation Attorneys 317-881-2700

Intentional Torts

Under tort law, when a person intentionally behaves in a way that causes another person harm, it is categorized as an intentional tort. Intentional torts can have both criminal and civil repercussions for the at-fault party. A dignitary tort is a type of intentional tort in which an action causes another person’s reputation or “honor” harm, or subjects them to certain indignities (humiliations and shame). Although valid, very few states have courts that actually use this legal term.

Types of Dignitary Torts

By definition, there are several kinds of dignitary torts that a person can commit. Common torts include defamation, such as slander and libel. Additional examples include intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault, abduction, false imprisonment, false light, invasion of privacy, and alienation of affections. Many jurisdictions primarily appoint non-physical acts and threats as dignitary torts. Historically, dignitary torts were mostly reserved for battery, assault, false imprisonment, and similar physical actions.

Non-Intentional Torts

There is also a type of non-intentional dignitary tort that can be committed, and it is referred to as negligent infliction of emotional distress. In this case, a victim is subjected to emotional distress and/or mental anguish as a result of another person’s non-intentional act. For example, a man could take nude photos of his girlfriend, show his friends as a joke, and as a result, cause her severe emotional stress and harm to her dignity. However, most jurisdictions simply categorize negligent infliction of emotional distress as just another form of basic negligence.

Where to Get Trusted Legal Advice

If you believe you or someone you love is a victim of defamation, negligent infliction of emotional distress or another intentional tort, contact a seasoned Indianapolis personal injury attorney to learn more about your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages and losses that result from the harm they have caused.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for information about making a personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Experienced personal injury attorneys Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are here to help you obtain the rightful compensation you deserve after suffering harm at the actions of another. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we recover for you.

Proving Libel or Slander in a Defamation Lawsuit

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

What protection do we have against those who wish to harm us, not physically, but in terms of our reputation and personal contentment? The answer: defamation laws. Defamation laws are set to protect individuals and entities (i.e. companies, organizations, corporations, etc.) from false statements that can harm or damage their repute. Although there are infinite ways to make such statements, defamation of character can fall into one of two categories (or both) that you are probably familiar with: Libel or Slander.

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.

Defamation Laws

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 Slander

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Under 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:

It must be proven that the defendant made a statement that was false and defamatory to the plaintiff.

It must be proven that the defendant made the defamatory publication to a third party.

It must be proven that publishing the communication was an act of negligence on the publisher’s behalf.

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.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

It is important to discuss your concerns about any serious harm you’ve experienced as a result of another’s negligence with a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your case. Just call the law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation. Accident attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek have extensive trial and litigation experience, and look forward to helping you with your claim. Call 317-881-2700 to get started today.

The Legal Concepts Surrounding Libel, Slander, and Defamation of Character

Defamation Lawyer 317-881-2700

Defamation Lawyers 317-881-2700

When someone’s words, whether written or spoken, causes harm to another person’s reputation or source of revenue, it is a civil wrong referred to as defamation. This area of the law provides relief for those victimized by defamatory statements, which can be recovered with the help of a personal injury lawyer. There are infinite examples of how a person can defame another person, but all defamation of character examples will fall under one of two categories, or sometimes even both.

The categories of defamation are libel and slander. Continue reading to learn the difference between libel and slander, and what you need to prove to win a defamation of character injury lawsuit.


Libel is a term used to describe written defamatory statements. With the innovative advancements in communication and technology, there are many ways a person can commit this civil wrongdoing in today’s society. It is possible for a person to write something derogatory or defamatory about someone else in letters, email, blog posts, social media posts, chatrooms, online forums, books, magazine publications, newspapers, flyers, posters, comments to online posts, and much more. And anyone who does make libelous statements about another person can be sued for defamation of character. An example of libel would be writing a rumor-based blog post about someone, accusing them of illegal misconduct that was untrue.


Personal Injury Lawyers Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers Indiana 317-881-2700

In contrast to libel, slander refers to spoken defamatory statements. Verbalized defamatory statements to any third party other than the verbalizer and the victim are considered slander. Because it is so easy to talk, slander can be easily committed. And if victims can prove that a person’s slanderous statements caused their reputation or source of income harm, they can recover remedies under civil law.

For instance, if a professional athlete’s ex-manager spreads false rumors of him using illegal supplements among his group of teammates and coaches, and as a result he loses certain endorsements and forced to go through an investigation in the public eye, it would be considered slanderous.

Proving Defamation

Having an opinion is not defamation. A person can “qualify” their statements by saying, “I think” or “In my opinion”, thus protecting them from accusations of defamation. For instance, if a student writes a comment on a blog post about a teacher at their school saying, “I think Mrs. Rogers is having an affair with the Vice Principle”, this would not be considered defamatory. A defamatory statement must be a statement of fact. So in this same example, the student’s statement would be defamatory if it said, “Mrs. Rogers is having an affair with the Vice Principle.” It is important to hire an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer if you believe you or someone you love has been victimized by defamation of character wrongdoings. They have the knowledge, experience, and determination to recover the full and fair relief you deserve as a victim of slander or libel.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal Injury Attorney Indianapolis

Personal Injury Attorneys 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to file a defamation of character claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek stop at nothing to ensure your family finds relief after suffering damages from slander or libel. We offer free initial consultations, so there is absolutely no out-of-pocket obligation to discuss your incident and options. And we never collect attorney fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to set up your free consultation, and speak with Indianapolis
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Defining Defamation of Character

The term “Defamation of character” describes a situation in which a false statement or accusation is mentioned or written as fact about a person, and subsequently causes suffering and damage to that persons reputation. Defamation is also referred to as “slander” or “libel”, and is recognized under Tort Law.

General Damages

Personal Injury Lawyers Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers Indiana 317-881-2700

When a persons’ name is “defamed” by another person, entity, or organization, there are consequences suffered as a result. This person can be scorned, ridiculed, hated, and shamed within their community because of a false accusation or statement about them. In more serious occurrences, slander situations can be on an even larger scale than just their community, especially if they are famous or well-known in the public eye.

In other cases, slander can cause many losses, such as child custody, employment, friends, and family support. If a person, organization, or other entity commits libel against a falsely accused person, it can result in a lawsuit, and more than likely not end in favor of the slanderer.

Legal Terms Concerning Defamation Law

There is terminology associated with defamation law, slander, and libel. These terms are important to be familiar with if ever involved in a defamation case. Knowing and understanding the facts surrounding a defamation case is crucial, and knowing these terms and phrases can help a person accomplish just that.

Oral Defamatory Statements

This occurs when a person, entity, or organization spreads a false statement or accusation vocally. This is an example of slander. Speaking these false statements and saying them out loud publically can come with consequences because it is categorized under defamation of character. In order to be recognized as actual slander, the person must have proof that it was said as fact, rather than opinion by the accuser. Oral defamatory cases are harder to prove because of these conditions and more. Sometimes slander cases are easier proven when malice is involved by the accusing party.


Malice can be described as intentional and hostile impulses of “meanness” or a desire to inflict suffering or harm on another person. If an entity, organization, or person commits any type of malice that can be proven, it can be a potential defamation case.

Defamation Per Se

“Defamation per se” are cases where there is so much obvious malice and harm to a reputation, that proof of intent is not required in order to pursue a defamation lawsuit against the accusing party. Accusing someone of having a contagious disease or committing an immoral crime (i.e. sex crimes, animal crimes, child crimes), is grounds for a defamation per se case.

Defamation Per Quod

“Defamation per quod” is the exact opposite of “defamation per se”. This is when malice and intent is not obvious at all, and proof is required to carry out a defamation lawsuit successfully.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for defamation of character claims and lawsuits in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorneys, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are seasoned personal injury lawyers with extensive trial and litigation experience. Our law firm provides free initial consultations to discuss your legal claims, and never collects attorney fees unless they recover compensation for you. Call 317-881-2700 and schedule an appointment with a licensed personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis today.