Defamation

Defamation and the injurites it causes to your personal and professional reputation can be extremely damaging to your personal life, business, financial success, and mental well-being. If you believe you have been defamed, talk to an experienced attorney who concentrates his or her practice in personal injury and defamation law.

Character Defamation Lawyer in Pennsylvania (PA)

Simply put, defamation is an injury to your reputation. It can be written or published online, including photos, in which case it is called slander.  If it is oral or spoken only, then it is called libel.   In either case, defamation occurs when someone falsely attributes negative traits, deeds, or accusations to you or a product of your work. An injury caused by character defamation can take the form of mental agony, emotional distress, public humiliation, inability to continue working in your field, and loss of friends or acquaintances due to the spread of false information tarnishing your otherwise good name. This is why you need an experienced defamation attorney.

Defamation happens when someone lies, spreads rumors, or makes false accusations about another person.  It can also occur through the disclosure of private facts (even if the facts are true) or the spread of true facts in such a way as to show the victim in a false light. 

Defamation law has become increasingly important with the expanding influence of social media. For example, online defamation is viewed as equivalent to distributing printed material that characterizes another person badly. This means defamation also includes other negative comments in online speech, social media posts (such as “tweets”), text messages, emails, and fake news articles. In this era of modern technology, online material is easily accessible, spreads quickly, is difficult to disprove or delete, and therefore it has the potential of being extremely harmful for one’s life or career. When things like this happen, having an online defamation attorney and internet defamation attorney may well be the solution.

If you believe you or someone you know has been impacted by defamation, contact our attorney for defamation for a case evaluation and initial consultation regarding potential compensation and legal solutions.

Elements of Character Defamation

Although specifics vary by state, the general elements required to establish grounds for a defamation case generally include the following:

  • The plaintiff must prove that the defendant published a false statement to at least one person other than the plaintiff about the plaintiff’s character, character trait, or reputation.   False light and private facts defamation differ slightly in this area.   The plaintiff must still prove publication, but falsity of the statements is not an issue. 
  • Statements of opinion do not constitute defamation because they cannot be proven true or false.
  • The plaintiff must also show that the defendant knew or should have known that the statement was false. If the defendant did not know that the statement was false, then the prospective defendant may have a defense to a defamation case.   In other words, some degree of fault must be shown.
  • Each statement must be clearly identifiable as being about the plaintiff to form the basis for defamation. This means that the plaintiff must be also able to provide celar evidence that proves the falsity of the claims.
  • Another element necessary for establishing defamation is that the false statement must have been shared (uttered or published) with at least one third person who understood the statement as applying to the character or character traits of the plaintiff. There must be evidence that a third party heard or read the false statement about character and believed it referred to the plaintiff. 

Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania (PA)

Being a victim of defamation is a significantly damaging event. Victims can feel ashamed, afraid, angry, and as though they have nowhere to turn. Perhaps you waited to seek counsel as a result of these feelings. Even if it has been some time since the occurrence, there is still a chance for a successful defamation lawsuit. Maybe you didn’t discover the defamation until later on. For example, you may not have realized someone had said or written something false and harmful about you online until you hear about it from a potential employer who looked you up online.

In the state of Pennsylvania, you have one full year from the first publication of the false information to take action. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in modern defamation law and are here to help you repair any damage or injury you’ve incurred as a result of slander or libel. Contact a defamation lawyer near me for a consultation! We are understanding, proactive, and care about the overall success and well-being of all of our clients.

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