Is your reputation under attack?
Your reputation is important to you. Who you are, what you do, and what you embody should be respected.
You’ve put in time and effort to build yourself into the person that you are today, so the worst thing that can happen is when people attack you in a way that damages your reputation and diminishes people’s perception of you.
What can you do?
Your reputation is already on the line and you do not want to cause any further conflict with the person who is attacking you.
But you have the right to defend yourself and protect your reputation.
Your reputation is important. Under the law, you have the right to sue for defamation.
What is defamation law?
Defamation law deals with protecting reputations.
If your reputation is under attack, it is crucial that you protect yourself. A damaged reputation will hinder advancement in your personal and professional life.
So if someone has been making untruthful statements about you, or if damaging material has been communicated about you, you have the right to take legal action against all those responsible for damaging your reputation.
You would only have one year from the date of publication to sue for defamation, so it would be in your best interest to seek advice from a solicitor as soon as any damaging material has been communicated about you.
What will be considered?
Of course, depending on your unique situation, your solicitors would be in the best position to advise you of whether you would be likely to succeed in a case of defamation.
Usually, you would be successful if all the following can be established:
- Material was communicated (written, spoken, illustrated, or posted on the internet) and at least one other person has heard or viewed this material.
- The material published is about you.
- The material was ‘defamatory’.
What ‘defamatory’ means is that if any materials are spoken, written or illustrated which lowers your reputation in the eyes of the community, or causes you to be ridiculed, avoided or despised, then this would be ‘defamatory’.
What do you get if you are successful?
The main remedy you will receive if you are successful in suing for defamation is monetary damages.
This means you will receive a payment of money usually paid from the person(s) who attacked your reputation – usually capped at $250,000 depending on the level of damage to your reputation and hurt feelings.
Furthermore, if you can demonstrate that in having the damaging material communicated you have and will continue to suffer increased distress in your personal and professional life, then the Court may award you even more than the capped amount of $250,000.
So don’t feel powerless if damaging material has been communicated about you.
The last thing you want to happen is to be ridiculed, avoided, or despised by members of the general public as a result of this attack.
You can do something about it.