Posted by Defamation Lawyers Perth on August 30, 2022

If you want to sue for defamation of character, you need to be aware of the elements of a defamation lawsuit and know how to file the lawsuit as per the case. For you to prove defamation, you need to provide evidence that someone made a false statement regarding you and that the statement harmed your reputation after being published.

Published in this context means that a third party saw or heard defamatory statements made about you. You can take the help of Defamation of character lawyers to make the process of suing someone for defamation easier. In this blog, you will learn how to file a defamation of character lawsuit. 

What is a Defamation of Character? 

It is important for people to understand what defamation of character is before they look to sue someone for defamation. Defamation is a thing that arises when there is a false statement made against an individual that can hurt the reputation of the concerned person. The individual who suffered the defamatory statement can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the statement.  

Types of Defamation 

There are two types of character defamation such as slander and libel difference. Slander happens when a false statement is verbally stated, and libel is when an unfavorable statement is written and published. It needs to be known that both these types of defamation are intentional torts. 

There are other types of intentional torts such as sexual abuse, domestic abuse, battery, physical assault, fraud, and much more. People look to seek justice if they are a victim of these things. 

How to Prove Defamation of Character?

If you want to know when you can sue an individual or a group of people of character, it is important that you are aware of the elements that you need to prove. To be able to win a defamation lawsuit, other than hiring Defamation Lawyers Perth, you need to prove the following important elements:

  • The defendant made a false statement about you
  • The statement was published either in writing or verbally to a third party
  • The statement harmed your reputation 
  • The statement made against you was unprivileged.

You can take a look at them in a more detailed way:

1. False statement 

A statement can be thought to be defamatory if it is not true. Statements that are true are not considered defamation, and if a statement has been made that is offensive, bad, and hurts an individual’s reputation but is true, it cannot be considered defamation.  

For instance, if someone says that this shopkeeper sells expired products, it cannot be defamatory if it is true. Certain opinions made by people also cannot be considered defamatory as opinions are a matter of perspective. For instance, if you say that this restaurant’s food doesn’t taste good, it cannot be considered defamation.

But a party may not be able to escape liability for defamation if defamatory statements have been made about an individual that hurt their reputation. If people or parties try to combine false facts with statements of opinion, the statements can be thought to be derogatory or slanderous. 

2. Publication need 

A statement is usually published if a third party has read, seen, or heard a defamatory statement about an individual. This indicates that people other than the subject of the statement and the individual making the statement knew about the communication.

A statement cannot damage an individual’s reputation if it is private, which is why a statement needs to be published to be taken as defamatory. Under this context, loud conversations and verbal remarks made in public can also be counted the same as being published in a newspaper. 

Before hiring a Publication new defamation litigation law lawyer to sue someone for defamation, you need to know that speech communicated on radio, TV, in books, social media platforms, speeches, gossip, and in newspapers can be considered as published statements. 

3. Unprivileged statements 

A defamatory statement needs to be unprivileged, and there are examples where a statement is considered to be privileged. In such cases, you will not be able to sue for defamation even if the statement was untrue and harmed your reputation.  

For instance, a speech of a witness who they are testifying at trials can be considered privileged. Witnesses are not considered liable to face defamation lawsuits even if they provide false proof in a courtroom. This ensures that people do not censor themselves when providing testimony due to fear of lawsuits.  

4. Injury 

In defamation lawsuits, a statement needs to be proven to have caused harm to an individual’s reputation. The subject of that statement needs to be able to show that the statement hurt the reputation of the claimant or caused injury, like the person losing work due to the made statement.

It also needs to be shown that the statement has hurt the person financially if they run a business. The statement can be considered proof of injury if an individual suffers from health problems. Other proofs are being harassed by the media, disowned by family members, and much more. 

5. Defamation per Se

Many statements are classified under defamation per se, which can lead to defamation of character lawsuits. These statements can be so horrifying that people may assume that the victim suffered harm due to them. The statements that are considered defamation per se include false accusations about the plaintiff that they:

    1. Committed a serious offence.
    2. Have a disease that can be communicated to the people 
    3. Cannot perform their work or do not have integrity in doing so
    4. Do not have the ability in their business, trade, or profession 
    5. It is a part of sexual misconduct.

How Do You File a Lawsuit for Character Defamation  

Before filing or how to file a defamation case of character, you need to know if you have a valid claim for libel or slander. The best way to find a rough answer is to look at the important elements for bringing a defamation claim and to find out if they can be met. 

It can benefit you if you talk to a reputed lawyer before filing the lawsuit. A lawyer can professionally check a case’s facts to decide if they meet the slander or libel lawsuit requirements. The best lawyers can also work with the victim to find the appropriate strategy and prepare and file the complaint for defamation. 

The complaint will set out the factual allegations and the damages sought by the plaintiff. After the defamation complaint is filed with the court, the defendant has to be served with a summons and the complaint. After this, the defendant can file for an answer, and the answer will be made in response to the complaint.

In that answer, the defendant fights against the accusations made by the plaintiff and looks for defences that can excuse their actions. A court can provide a scheduling order that can give essential details of this case, marking the beginning of the discovery period. In this period, both parties will exchange information related to the case.

Settling the Case

During any phase of the tort litigation process, there can be settlement negotiations. But this can only happen after both parties have collected the information they require during the discovery phase. Defamation cases can be settled out of court or by bringing in a mediator.

If both parties in this defamation case can reach a settlement agreement, the case might be resolved before the trial occurs. If a settlement cannot be reached, the best defamation of character lawyers may recommend going to trial.

How Much Can You Recover if You Sue for Defamation of Character Damages?

The enormity of the defamatory statement may also affect the value of the case. The victim’s reputation before the defamation statement was made can also be an issue. If you did not have much of a good reputation before the defamatory statement was made, you might not be able to get much financial compensation in your case.

Similar to the case of a personal injury victim, defamation victims can recover financial loss due to the statement, such as lost business prospects, reduced earning capacity, lost wages, and similar other damages. If you are a victim of defamation, you can also receive compensation for non-financial damages such as mental problems, suffering, and humiliation.

Contact Defamation Lawyer Perth

If your reputation is at stake due to wrong, abusive, or false statements being made against you, you can look to sue that person in a defamation case. To get help in this case and to ensure you receive compensation and justice, you can contact Defamation Lawyer Perth. They can provide you with the best lawyers to successfully file a defamation case and recover your lost reputation or money due to the statement.