Libel & Slander: A Quick Look at What Constitutes a Defamation Lawsuit

In a world where communication is fast and easy, information gets spread at the speed of light. Unfortunately, this can have detrimental effects just the same as it has its advantages. In some situations, someone with ill intent can practically ruin the life of another individual. These situations, according to the law, are deemed libel and slander.

If you have suffered personal ramifications because of what someone has said about you, you could very well have a personal injury claim on your hands. But how does a defamation of character lawsuit work? Take a look at these three factors that constitute a defamation of character lawsuit in the form of libel and slander. 

What was said about you must be made available to the public. 

If someone makes a false statement about you in passing to another individual, this is hardly a defamation case on its own. However, if someone publishes a statement about you on social media, sets up a website filled with information about you, or even publishes a writeup in the local paper, this is a concrete act of publishing libel and slander. In a successful claim, this is an important part of the burden of proof that someone has done something that has or could potentially harm you or your reputation. 

What was said or published must be false. 

Defamation of character means that someone has done something that makes others see you in a way other than what you actually are. Therefore, if you intend to file a claim against someone for libel and slander, whatever they said or published must be false. If there is any truth to what has been shared, your situation could be viewed as just spreading information, albeit unnecessary or with ill intent. 

What was said must have caused you some type of harm. 

Bad information being shared about you can cause all kinds of problems and personal injury claims do not always mean that you have been physically injured. You could:

  • lose your job
  • suffer a business loss
  • have problems finding housing
  • be harassed or ridiculed publicly
  • see your personal relationships affected

In order to file a personal injury claim based on libel and slander, you must be able to show that the person responsible has caused you some type of harm, whether it is emotional or social.

Even though libel and slander relative to defamation of character cases seems pretty clear-cut, this is one legal process that can be more complex than expected. If you believe that you have experienced libel and slander, contact a personal injury attorney via resources like for more information.