Defamation is an umbrella term for any false statement about you. It encompasses slander, which is a verbal (i.e., spoken) lie and libel, which is a written (i.e., non-spoken) lie. The inner workings of defamation can be quite complicated because its application varies depending on your status and the status of the person who lied about you. Before discussing how your status impacts your case, let’s first discuss the four elements that must be true to bring a defamation suit to court.
- It must be true that the statement is false and defamatory.
- It must be true that the statement is an unprivileged communication to a third party.
- It must be true that the defendant knew or should have known it was false.
- It must be true that you sustained actual or presumed damages as a result.
A defamatory statement, thus, must be negative. For example, if someone lied and said, “You’re a great cook,” you have no suit because this statement is positive and not injurious.
A defamatory statement must be communicated to a third party in a gossipy manner, essentially. In other words, if the defendant made a statement to an officer because you’re suspected of committing a crime, this is a privileged communication. Likewise, if the statement is made by a mandatory reporter regarding harm you’ve inflicted on a child, that communication is likely privileged. Of course, the statement would still need to be true.
Defendants can’t just say whatever they want. If they know the injurious statement is false, and they could have taken reasonable steps to uncover the truth but didn’t, you may sue for damages. For example, suppose Gloria heard that you steal tips from the restaurant you two work at but, rather than ask you or the manager about it, she continues to spread this gossip. Gloria has never seen you steal tips, and she’s never heard of the tips coming up short. In other words, she should have reasonably known the statement was false, and she avoided taking steps to uncover whether it was true.
Lastly, you must show that you suffered as a consequence of the lie. Consider the above example. If your manager fired you as a result of the lie, you sustained actual damages. Even if your manager later rehired you, you can sue for the time you went without work and for the lie itself.
Why Choose Eric Roy Law Firm?
Whenever you’re involved in a personal injury case, it’s only natural that you’ll want one of the best personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas, NV. Eric Roy, Esq is certainly that highly recommended, reputable attorney. Esteemed as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 10 Attorneys Under the Age of 40 by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, his accolades only exemplify his knowledge and dedication to his clients. If that’s not enough to convince you, Eric was also named in Desert Companion Magazine‘s list of Nevada’s Top Lawyers.
With years of experience, sincere advocacy, and unparalleled litigation skill, you can rest assured that your personal injury claim will be professionally handled. Eric works diligently to ensure that you’re made whole again, whether you choose to settle or go to trial. For a free consultation, you may contact Eric Roy Law Firm at (702) – 423 – 3333. We offer 24/7 live call answering for your convenience.