Making the decision to sue for libel or slander is never an easy one, especially because of how complicated these types of cases can get. Both libel and slander occur when another person’s words end up causing harm to your reputation or livelihood, in general. People oftentimes get these two forms of defamation confused, which is why we thought it would be a good idea to look at them each separately before we dive into whether or not it is a good idea to pursue libel legal action.
By definition, defamation is…
- The issuance of a false statement about another person, which results in harm to that individual
By definition, libel is…
- A written or published defamatory statement
- This could involve making a defamatory statement in a printed or mixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper
By definition, slander is…
- A harmful statement made orally
- This could also involve defamatory statements being made by a non-fixed representation
What is Defamation?
As discussed above, defamation is any type of false statement that causes another person harm or embarrassment in some way or another. Whether the statement was published on the internet or said in a public setting, you may be able to sue for defamation. Furthermore, the general type of harm that is caused by defamation is characterized as someone being ridiculed, shamed, hated, scorned, belittled, shunned, embarrassed, or help in contempt by others. There are several different types of defamation, including the two mentioned above (libel and slander) as well as malice. In order to better understand when it may be time to pursue a defamation case or some other type of libel legal action, we thought it would be helpful to go over some of the most common places where to see libel today.
Where Do We See Libel?
These days, there are numerous places where you may find libelous (also known as written) statements. Some of these platforms include:
- Local newspapers
- Letters to the editor
- Public comments in magazines, newspapers, or other publications
- Blog posts
- Comments to blog posts
- Internet chat rooms
The majority of defamation cases – both libel and slander – involve a false statement made by someone intending to cause harm to another person’s reputation.
Why Pursue Legal Action?
The most common cases of libel and slander that we see involve celebrities. However, regular citizens also have the right to pursue these types of charges. With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you may be able to take someone to court for libelous statements made. Due to the complicated nature of these cases, it is important that you have a good attorney by your side. There are numerous different defenses to a claim of defamation, including truth of a statement, opinion, privilege, consent, innocent dissemination, and poor reputation.
So, how do you know if it is time to pursue libel legal action? We encourage you to contact Atkins & Markoff, Oklahoma’s leading personal injury attorneys, to discuss your case in more detail.