While you might associate "personal injury" with cases in which you are directly injured, there are other actions that can also fall under personal injury such as defamation. Cases involving defamation are settled on a state level and it's risky to pursue a defamation case without the help of a personal injury attorney.
Why an Attorney Is So Important
When you file a defamation lawsuit, you may find that the courts are concerned with protecting freedom of speech. The act of defamation must pass a very high hurdle and the defendant must show malice. Without the help of an experienced lawyer, you may waste time and money on a lawsuit that may be thrown out.
While a false statement is required for a defamation lawsuit, the false statement is often not enough. Your attorney will need to help you gather evidence that will allow you to prove that the defendant had a particular state of mind that shows malice.
How to Determine Malice
When an individual makes a statement about you that is not true, they have to know that this statement isn't true and it must not be an opinion. If you are able to find evidence that the defendant stated that they know the statement is false. They may also state that they intend to spread a false rumor as a way to "get back at you."
There are several ways your personal injury lawyer may be able to prove this:
- The defendant bragged about their activities on social media
- A witness overheard the defendant admitting to spreading knowingly false rumors
- The defendant accidentally admits to their activities during the legal process
The defendant might argue that the statement provided valuable information to the general public. Therefore, your attorney will need to argue as to why the statement is of no public interest.
The Advantages of a Defamation Lawsuit
While it may be difficult to prove defamation, there are many advantages to filing a lawsuit. If you win, you may be able to have the false statement retracted under a court order. They may even be forced to publish a truthful statement. If you are able to prove that you suffered monetary damages as a result of the act of defamation, this may also be remedied through a court judgment.
However, given the considerable amount of evidence you may need to show that the statements should not be protected speech, you'll need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Reach out to a firm like Labine Law Firm to see if you have a case.