Can You Sue For Slander? A Complete Guide to Slander Lawsuits
Can you sue for slander? To prove defamation of character, certain elements must be met. Learn more about slander law and how to file a defamation lawsuit.
Can You Sue For Slander?
Slander occurs when someone makes a false and defamatory statement about another person. Although the First Amendment gives you the right to free speech, there are some exceptions regarding this.
For a slanderous statement to occur, it must be made:
on the internet
To constitute slander, the statements must:
harm the person’s reputation
qualify as defamation under state law
Can You Sue Someone for Slander on Social Media?
With the rise of social media, more and more people wonder if they can sue for slander on social media. The answer is yes, but it can be challenging to prove.
To win a defamation lawsuit, you are required to show that the statements made were false and that they caused you harm. If the statements were opinion-based or cannot be proven, you will likely not win your case.
How to Prove Slander
If you are thinking to file a slander lawsuit, you might need to prove that:
- The false statement harmed you
- The person who published the alleged defamatory statement acted negligently
- The statement is not included in any privileged category
- The person who made the defamatory statement knew in the first place that it was false
Our experienced defamation lawyers in New York City & New Jersey can help if defamatory statements harm you or someone you love. The damages you might be facing could change your life. Slander is nothing to joke about; from shame or loss of reputation to adverse employment consequences, property loss, or any business relationships, the damages can be costly.
The Elements of Defamatory Statement
Suppose you are the victim of false statements. In that case, firstly, a defamation lawyer will decide if you have a case, and one can help you get the proper compensation for the damages caused to you and your reputation.
Considering this, some elements might change the course of your case.
The False Statement Must Be Published
When someone makes a false or defamatory statement against you, it must be published and seen or heard by a third party. The statement doesn’t have to be ‘literally’ published but communicated to a third person.
Written defamation (libel) or spoken defamation (slander) is eligible for the next step. For example, it is enough for the third person to hear the statement in a loud conversation and see it in a book, TV, or on social media.
The Statement Needs to Be Defamatory or False
A defamatory statement is defined as a form of communication that tends to harm the reputation of another person. The statement must be false and not a pure opinion. Opinions are not defamatory because they cannot be proven true or false.
The Statement Has to be Harmful
If you want to sue for slander, the statement must have harmed you in a way—be it directly or indirectly. You can prove your defamation case if:
- You have lost your job
- The press has harassed you
- You have lost your reputation or faced potentially harmful situations
The Statement Must Prove Actual Malice
Public figures have a higher burden of proof to show slander. They must meet the higher actual malice standard, or defamation per see.
Actual malice means that someone is making false statements without checking or knowing if it is false or not, or the person acted with reckless disregard.
This defamation law was first published by the Supreme Court in 1964, after the NEW YORK TIMES CO. v. SULLIVAN defamation lawsuit.
The Statement Does Not Fall Under ‘Qualified Privilege’
The qualified privilege includes:
- Statements made between spouses
- Witness testimony in a defamation suit
- Legislators making statements during legislative debates
If you think you have been the victim of libel or slander, you may file a defamation suit and get actual damages. A slander attorney from the Mullen Law Firm will protect your rights and deal with your libel and slander case.
If a person’s reputation has been damaged, we will fight to win the defamation case and be awarded punitive damages if needed. Contact us for a free consultation at 201-275-1025.
When Can You Sue For Slander?
Any reasonable person, public figure, or company can sue for slander. If you suffered emotional distress, anxiety, mental anguish, or the like, you could sue at any time. If considered defamation, your defamation attorney will try to win you money, also known as damages.
If you are looking for a New York and New Jersey defamation attorney, our law firm can help you navigate your defamation case. We are available to provide compassionate and knowledgeable advice on all legal aspects relating to defamation cases.
When Can You Sue For Defamation Of Character?
Defamation of character happens when a harmful, untrue statement is made about a company, business, or person. The statement must have been made as an oral or written statement to cause some harm.
If you can prove that someone has made defamation actions recklessly or knowingly, the person will be punished under the defamation laws and might be required to pay you off for damages.
How Can You Sue & File a Lawsuit For Slander?
To sue someone for slander, you need to follow these steps:
#1. File a Complaint
Filing a defamation complaint will start your case in a lawsuit.
#2. Serve the Complaint
Once you have filed your complaint, you need to serve the defendant under your state’s law rules.
#3. Perform Discovery
Both you and the defendant will be asked to answer some questions that might be helpful for your case. You could be asked to show some evidence or any documents that will prove your case.
#4. Attend Negotiations
When you reach settlement negotiations, you might need to decide if you agree with the negotiations or choose to go to trial. Your defamation attorney will advise and offer you legal information as they have the necessary experience.
How Can You Sue For Slander?
Our law firm understands how important your reputation is. If we determine you have a case and take you on as a client, we will do everything to win your civil lawsuit.
We have you covered, from personal injury cases to employment harassment, internet and school bullying, and family law, each of which can play a role in defamation lawsuits. We will work for the best outcome in your defamation case.
Reach out using the form on our website or call us at 201-275-1025. Request a free consultation and further explanation of our services today! Learn what constitutes defamation, attorney’s fees, libel and slander, and more!
Under What Circumstances Can You Sue For Slander?
You need to prove you have suffered actual harm, not just hurt feelings, to bring a libel claim. In essence, you can file a lawsuit against someone spreading lies about you as long as it hurts your reputation or results in other tangible harm to your well-being.
Whether it is internet defamation, workplace defamation, or defamation per se, a defamation attorney will study the damages you have suffered (shame, loss of reputation, harm to occupation, etc.) and will find a way to reach the best outcome. Although it is harder to prove spoken defamation at times, we will work vigorously to defend your case.
What Can You Get If You Sue For Slander?
Each slander case involves various factors, each of which can influence the compensation owed to the plaintiff. The average slander case settles for $15,000, but depending on your case, the amount of money you can get will likely vary from this.
Get legal advice first whenever you think of filing a defamation claim. Your odds of obtaining the total monetary damages you are owed are much stronger if an experienced attorney represents your case. An attorney can also help you determine what your case is worth to move forward with confidence.
What Can I Do if Someone Is Slandering Me?
If someone has made a slanderous statement about you, the best thing you can do is consult with an experienced defamation lawyer.
A reasonable slander attorney will evaluate your case, help determine if you have a claim, and develop a strategy to get the maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Call 201-275-1025 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our defamation lawyers today. We are looking forward to helping you!