When most people think of personal injury law, they often think about physical injuries that occur as a result of a car accident, medical malpractice, or dog bites. While these are all great examples of incidents that may fall within personal injury law, there are also injuries that fall within this branch of law that do not involve physical injuries. If you were recently fired from your job because of things a person said about you, the damages you are now suffering might be a result of something called defamation, and this is a type of case that may fall into personal injury law.
What is defamation?
Defamation is a legal term that refers to damages and emotional injuries a person suffers when someone says or writes something that is false about them. If the things were spoken about the person, it is called slander. If the false statements were written, it is called libel. Slander and libel are both forms of defamation, and this is something you can sue for in the branch of personal injury law; however, you can only do this if you can prove several things.
What do you have to prove?
There are several key elements of defamation you must prove in order to sue a person and win your case. Here are the main things you will need to prove:
- The words spoken or written were completely false—If someone said something about you that was true, there is nothing you can do about it, even if the words caused harm in your life. The words said or written about you must be completely false. If, for example, you were fired from your job because another employee said that you were falsifying your work hours when you really were not, this false statement might be enough to sue the person that said these things.
- You suffered harm—Being fired from your job is harm, and being fired can leave a person with emotional trauma, pain, and suffering. If you had not been fired from your job after someone said something false about you, it would be difficult to sue the person, because it may be hard to prove harm.
- The person's statements caused the incident to occur—Finally, you will need to be able to prove that the person's false statements is what led to you being fired from your job. You will also naturally need to have proof that the person made the statements to begin with.
If you believe you have all three of these elements in your case, you may want to visit a personal injury lawyer to find out if you should pursue your case.
What is a defamation case worth?
Every case in personal injury law is unique and viewed as an individual case. Because of this, it is hard to say what your case will be worth. If you have a good, solid case and end up winning, the court is likely to value your case based on the harm you suffered. There is no set formula for determining this amount, but your lawyer might be able to give you a rough idea as to what your case will be worth if you win. The amount will typically include money to compensate you for your pain and suffering as well as money from lost wages.
If you truly believe you were a victim of defamation, you may want to seek advice and action through local law firms like Blomberg Benson & Garrett. This is the best way to find out if you have a good case and your options for settling it.