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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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.