If someone makes a false statement about you, whether written or spoken, to a third party, then you have been defamed. In Atlanta, Georgia, defamation is considered personal injury because it can cause damage to your character.
There are two kinds of defamation, libel and slander. Libel is a written or published defamatory statement, whereas slander is a spoken defamatory statement. It is usually easier to prove libel, since spoken word disappears, but once something is published, it lasts for a long period of time and includes the physical evidence.
What Kind of Lawyer Handles Defamation Cases in Georgia?
When someone is committing libel or slander against you and you’re ready to put a stop to it, it’s time to contact an attorney. But what kind of a lawyer handles these cases? An injury to your reputation is still an injury, therefore an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who specializes in slander and libel would be the right legal professional for the job.
For a free legal consultation with a defamation and internet libel lawyer serving Atlanta, call (404) 888-8888
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Defamation Lawsuit?
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers work on contingency. If we believe you have a valid claim, we can represent you free of charge until your case’s conclusion is reached. When you get a settlement or court award, we’ll collect our fee. If you don’t win, you don’t pay. We’ve found that this arrangement works well for our clients because it allows them to pursue justice, even if they don’t have a lot of cash up-front.
Atlanta Defamation and Internet Libel Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
The Subject of Internet Libel in Your Personal Injury Claim
The internet can be wonderful, but it can also be dangerous. The internet has made it possible for anybody to communicate with everybody. Moreover, finding information about anyone has never been easier. A person’s entire life history could become available to anyone in a single click.
Of course, anything posted on the internet can take years to disappear or may even exist forever. Personal injury lawyers in Atlanta know all too well that just one negative statement has the potential to cost you your reputation, business, and lifestyle. That’s why we believe in taking swift action to stop it.
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Internet Libel Can Cause Significant Damages to Anyone
Internet libel is defined as a defamatory statement that is posted on the internet, through blogs, websites, social media, or even private message and email, and it can cause more harm than you might think. Here are some ways internet libel and defamation can cause harm:
- It can destroy relationships.
- It can affect a business’s profits or survival.
- It can cause social embarrassment.
- It can affect future potential job opportunities.
- It can lead to bullying.
- It can lead to breach of privacy.
- It can cause divorce or child custody challenges.
Examples of the Damage Internet Libel and Defamation Can Cause
Defamation and internet libel can take many forms. Here are some examples of scenarios where false statements can have a serious negative impact on someone’s life:
- If you apply to a job, and the employer runs a background check on you and comes across a defamatory statement, then he or she might not consider you to be a trustworthy and employable person.
- A false accusation of adultery could destroy a marriage.
- A false statement that suggests drug use or violent tendencies could cause havoc in child custody and visitation arrangements.
- A defamatory statement about a store could ruin the entire business and stop people from shopping there.
As you can see, a small defamatory statement can lead to disastrous results. That’s why it’s important to take action to clear your name when it happens to you.
What Must You Prove in a Defamation Personal Injury Claim
Not every negative statement that is made about you can be considered defamatory. A negative statement is only considered defamatory if it is factually false. If the statement is true or is an opinion, then it cannot be considered defamation. Here are some examples:
- Someone claimed you engaged in criminal behavior, but you did.
- Someone says you committed adultery, but it is a true statement.
- Someone said that your products or services are awful, but it’s an opinion.
Sometimes, the statement may have parts that are true or are opinions and parts that are factually false. In such cases, you must prove that the false part of the statement caused some kind of damage to you.
An example might be when a person expresses the opinion that your services are terrible and that you refused to honor your “money back guarantee.” Their dissatisfaction is an opinion, but if they are lying about the fact that you did not honor a guarantee, then this is a factual falsehood that could cause damages.
You Must Prove Calculable Losses in a Defamation Claim
In cases where someone insults you or says something false about you or your business, but they say it directly to you and nobody else, then this is also not grounds for a defamation case. You must prove that the false statement was conveyed to a third party, and this caused some damage to yourself, your business, or your reputation.
This last part is essential. There must have been some damage caused to you by the false statement, and simple embarrassment or anger at the statement does not count. You must prove that the false statement caused you to be harassed, to lose business, to lose your marriage, or to face other actual damages.
What Can I Do if Someone Slanders or Defames Me?
Reading false statements about yourself on the internet could be humiliating and even hurtful. Moreover, such statements can damage your reputation and affect personal and professional relationships. If you are a victim of internet libel or defamation, you must act fast to minimize the damage, and to recover compensation from the damages you’ve sustained.
False information online can spread faster than the truth, so you’ll need to file a claim as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for defamation in Atlanta is one year. That means your personal injury attorney in Atlanta will have one year from the date the slanderous or defamatory statement was made to file a claim.
You must also preserve evidence of the defamatory statement. Things can be taken off the internet just as quickly as they can be posted. If the person that published the statement removes it from the internet, you will have no proof and thus no claim. For online libel, be sure to print a screenshot with the name of the website and the date.
Keep in mind that some defamatory statements are only made more public if you respond to them. Responding to the statement might create a public controversy, thus making the statement more popular. However, in some cases ignoring the statement is not an option. If the statement is only going to cause more trouble in the future, then you must report it.
Contact Our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys for Advice and Representation
If you have been defamed on the internet, contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia, and tackle the issue before it gets out of hand. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will help you understand your rights and options establish liability in your claim. If you prevail in your claim, you can recover compensation for any damages caused by defamatory statements.