The incidents of defamation cases have seen an upward trend in the last couple of years. The cause of this trend could be an exponential increase in the use of the internet. The best counter to defamation related instances is knowledge of defamation and the existing defamation removal law.
What is defamation communication?
Defamation communication can be defined as the legal term that covers an injury or damage to an individual or a Company’s reputation through the publication of a false statement based on fact with the knowledge of the falsity of the information. Defamation consists of both libel or defamation through a fixed or written form and slander that is spoken or verbal defamation. Any written or verbal communication such as pictures or words that are responsible for causing the feeling of dislike, contempt, hatred or ridicule, are considered as defamatory.
The components of a legal defamation case
To legally prove a defamation case it needs to have the following elements
- The statement needs to be published – The statement needs to be distributed to at least one other person apart from the perpetrator and the injured party.
- The statement is about the injured party or plaintiff – The statement needs to contain the identifying information so that any person listening to or reading the statement can deduce that the statement is about the injured party.
- The statement caused either financial or emotional damage to the injured party.
- The statement was published with malice or negligence.
- The statement is false.
- The statement is not protected by any privileges that could be applicable.
If the injured party is an individual and not a public figure they only need to prove negligence whereas the public figures need to prove actual malice in a defamation case. The malice can be defined as a complete disregard to the truth of a published statement.
Defending a defamation communication case
The best and only defense for a claim of defamation communication is the truth. If the statements are proven to be true, then there are no grounds for a Defamation claim irrespective of any damage that may result from the statement. Another basis of defense could be privilege such as a statement that’s made in court or the course of official duty or information based on a public document or public official. The expiry of the Statute of Limitations is another ground of countering a defamation claim.
The injured party can claim and collect actual damages on the basis of proving the following
- Damage due to loss of job
- Damage due to loss of reputation or humiliation
- Emotional damage
The damages can be assumed and need not be proved, in cases of Defamation per se. The following instances constitute the grounds of Defamation per se
- A statement that harms the injured parties professional standing or trade.
- A statement is alleging that the injured party is infected with sexually transmitted diseases.
- A statement questioning the chastity of an unmarried person
- A statement is alleging the injured party of criminal activity.
A claim for defamation communication has many grounds and forms. To understand whether there is a ground for the claim or the damage that can be claimed, the guidance of a specialist attorney is needed. To know more about existing laws and ways of countering a defamatory communication, you can visit websites