If you recently went through a very bad breakup, and your ex is spreading rumors around about you, there is a chance you might be able to sue him or her for defamation. Defamation involves written or spoken things that are false and harmful to a person's reputation. If your ex has done this to you, filing a lawsuit against him or her might be a good way to legally resolve the problem. However, winning a defamation case is not always an easy feat. The best thing to do is contact a lawyer for legal advice about your situation. When you do this, the lawyer is likely to discuss the following three things with you.
The Definition of Defamation
The first thing you will need to understand is whether or not your case falls into the legal description of what defamation really is. Defamation is made up of two main things. The first is libel, which includes harmful statements about you that are in writing. Slander is the other thing, which involves harmful statements about you that someone has spoken.
The key factor to defamation is that the spoken or written statements said about you must be false. In addition, the person that spoke or wrote the things must have done it as a way of intentionally causing harm to you. If your ex said or wrote nasty things about you that were true, there is nothing that can be done about this. This is a person's First Amendment right to free speech, and you cannot stop people from speaking truth about you, even if it hurts.
When you speak to a lawyer about your case, you will need to clearly tell him or her what has happened. The lawyer should be able to advise you about your case after explaining this.
The Challenges of Defamation Cases
The second thing the lawyer will talk to you about is the challenges of winning a defamation case. These cases can be extremely difficult to win, especially if the defamation was solely through words spoken about you. On the other hand, if you have evidence of libel in writing and can prove your ex wrote the things, it might be a little less challenging for you to win.
To win the case, you will not only have to prove that your ex is responsible for saying or writing bad things about you, but you will also have to prove the information is false. In addition, you may need to prove that he or she did it with intentions to hurt you, and you may need to prove that this information actually caused you harm.
For example, if the information your ex spread about you caused you to lose your job or business success, you might have a case. The challenge of this is proving that you lost your job because of what your ex has said or wrote about you. Basically, you will need to be able to show the correlation between the defamation and the harm you have experienced from it.
What You Can Win
If the attorney you speak with believes you have a good case, he or she might accept to work with you on the case. If your case is strong and wins, there is a chance the court will award you money to compensate you for loss of income, emotional stress, and physical injuries (if applicable). The lawyer you hire may charge a fee for the services; however, many personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means they charge a percentage of settlement amounts when cases win.
If you are not sure if you have a case or not, contact a firm that offers legal services like Bayer Jerger & Underwood. This will allow you to discuss your case with a lawyer to find out what you should do next.