Getting insulted is always a frustrating situation, especially if the insulter is somebody that the insulted person trusted or respected. In some instances, insults can actually be slander. It all depends on how far the insults go and why they are used. Proving this personal injury case is a tough one, but it can be done.
Insults Aren't Necessarily Slander
People often think that insults are slander no matter what the situation. That isn't always the case. Insults expressed as opinion, especially ones that can be proven false, are not slander. For example, somebody stating that "I just think he is a jerk" is expressing a negative opinion, but they aren't really defaming the person about whom they are talking.
So if a person insults somebody else during a fight, they aren't necessarily committing slander. However, if that person uses that insult to spread lies and rumors about another person, then there is a chance they are committing slander. It all depends on why the person is spreading those rumors and whether or not they actually cause personal injury.
When Insults Hurts
Insults are always going to hurt a person's feelings. But insults are a person's opinion and aren't necessarily going to impact the insulted person's life beyond that. However, insults that go beyond mere name calling can seriously impact a person's life and hurt them on a deeper level. For example, if someone spreads insults about a person to defame their character they could:
- Cause friends to turn against them
- Make them lose their job
- Stop them from getting promotions
- Manipulate a situation to their advantage
When this happens, insults have gone beyond merely being mean and are severely negative. If the person doing the insulting is making a concentrated effort to hurt a person's reputation and advantage from it, they are committing slander. But how can this case be proven by those who are being slandered?
Proving The Case
The easiest way to prove slander is to ensure that there is evidence to prove that it did harm. Remember that insults are not necessarily slandering unless they actually cause serious harm to a person's character or life. If harm has occurred, evidence (such as financial records or statements from others) must be produced to create a case for slander.
Eyewitnesses are key in cases like this because they help overcome the lack of physical evidence that is used in libel cases. The defendant needs to be able to show that the person who spread the rumors or insults did so in a deliberate attempt to harm a person. Then, it must be shown that this slander actually hurt a person's reputation.
As should be obvious, a slander personal injury case is a difficult task. However, a good personal injury lawyer can do a lot to help here. They can identify ways to showcase that injury actually occurred and find a way to win the case.
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