Defamation, Personal Injury, and Protecting Yourself
In 2019 personal injury can come in many varied forms. You can now initiate a personal injury case simply because of what someone has said online or to someone else in public. These types of personal injury cases related to defamation, more commonly known as slander or libel.
Consult a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, to help you through this difficult and complex legal procedure. If you have lost business, your reputation was impacted, or you have suffered in other ways you may have a defamation case.
Defamation does not only serve to protect celebrities. Celebrities who file defamation cases have to prove that the statement was made with the intent to harm. Whereas the general public simply has to show that the statement had a harmful impact.
Ultimately, defamation is someone, anyone, saying something that is both false and harmful. In essence, that could be someone publishing online that you had an affair which was untrue and led to the dissolution of your marriage or resulted in severe interpersonal relationship issues.
Other examples of defamation could include someone publicly claiming that the business you run independently uses toxic or harmful materials. If this is untrue and you lost business because of that statement you likely have a case for defamation.
Preparing for These Cases
How can you protect yourself from the words of others? Before anything else, you will need to document the statement. If the statement was made online a screenshot or screen capture of the statement will serve as a record of the post even if the user removes it later. Other forms of defamation such as verbal defamation may only come with the evidence from witnesses who heard the unsavory remark from the person you are seeking legal action against.
After documenting the statement, you will need to meet with an attorney. Contact a local Tampa, FL lawyer to get help from someone familiar with the community. Bring in any evidence you have as well as support to show that that person’s proclamation directly impacted you. You may need to bring in bank statements, receipts for therapy or counseling, or anything similar that would show loss or suffering.
What to Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
A Tampa, FL personal injury attorney will file a complaint on your behalf, which will officially begin the legal process. After filing the complaint, then discovery will start, and that is the formal investigation. Both sides will carefully review the parties involved and review the evidence. Defamation, slander, or libel cases will often rely on people’s testimony. You may have to complete a written set of questions called Interrogatories. When answering Interrogatories, you will be under oath, and everything stated must be clear and factual.
Your attorney will also guide you through depositions in which the other attorney may ask you questions while you are under oath. These depositions are often a way to test the waters and to decide if a trial is necessary. In some cases, a trial is not necessary, and the attorneys involved will negotiate a settlement.
When deciding if a settlement is right for you or not, you should consider your attorney’s opinion on the matter. A jury may find in your favor but award a smaller amount that the settlement offer. It’s always best to discuss all the possibilities that come with both a settlement and a trial.
Calling A Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
A Florida personal injury attorney is likely your first stop after having such harm done to your reputation and relationships. When initiating a defamation case however you need to consider the full effect. If you’re hoping to make this case public, more people will learn about the false claims and they may make their assumptions about what is true.
Work with your attorney to determine what media attention your case is likely to grab. Discuss options to prepare for that. This issue may also impact your decision to accept a private settlement which may leave the public with the wrong impression of the case.
Because the media and public are now so involved in cases, you should carefully consider if a personal injury case will help you or cause more harm. When speaking with an attorney, they can thoroughly explain the impact of these cases on families and businesses.
Contact the law offices of Winters and Yonker for assistance with any personal injury claim. Together you and a skilled attorney can build a strong case and fight for a favorable outcome.