The last few years have seen an exponential increase in cases of defamation, especially online defamation. The easy availability of internet and myriad of social networking sites, blogs etc. has provided users multiple platforms to express their opinion and a ready crowd of audience. Everyone can express themselves or give their opinion or share opinion of others through writing, videos, etc. thereby increasing the possibility of defamation.
If you are a victim of defamation then the most viable alternative for you is starting the legal proceedings. A defamation law suite has two parties that are
The plaintiff is the person or the organization that is defamed and the defendant is the person or persons against whom the case has been registered.
Elements of the case
Prior to filing a lawsuit you need to establish the elements of the case for this you need to be able to understand defamation. For this, we need to define defamation, so defamation constitutes a false statement that was published and is a cause of damage to the reputation of an individual or entity provided that the statement is not privileged.
Defamation can be verbal that is slander or written that is libel. The elements that need to be established are
- The falsity of the statement
- It should be published
- Statement was not an opinion
- Due to defamation, the plaintiff suffered damages to personal or professional life.
- For a plaintiff that is a public figure, he needs to prove that the statement was published with either the knowledge of falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth.
When the medium of publication is internet then it’s called online defamation.
Defamation of public figures
Many websites use the name of a public figure or a popular business in a derogatory manner, it has become a trend to gain publicity in a sleazy manner. These people not only promote defamation but they get actively engaged in it. A number of fake identities are used to damage to the reputation of respected individuals and companies. The use of famous names increase the number of website visitors resulting in increased revenue from advertisement.
The fake identities are a tough nut to crack in such cases. Tracking the actual people hiding behind these identities is very difficult and results in a very frustrating stalemate. This can be countered by reverse email tracking, which can be done by an experienced private investigator who can not only track the person’s involved, but their report and testimony will be invaluable in court.
The businesses that have a major threat from lawsuits are media and newspaper houses. They frequently report on various incidents and since it’s a fast paced industry sometimes mistakes do occur resulting in a lawsuit, mostly defamation lawsuits.
To safeguard their interest or interest of any individual or entity that have a possibility of facing lawsuits due to their line of work, insurance is the best option. The insurance covers the financial liability of a lawsuit up to the insured amount. This insurance comes as a part of General liability insurance and can be availed by any blog or website etc. that are in need of this type of coverage.
The best course of action in case of a defamation lawsuit is hiring a specialist attorney. They have the established framework and resources like a private investigator etc. to pursue the lawsuit and provide you an edge.