In a personal injury case involving defamation, it is not enough to just show that someone made a false statement about you. You also have to prove that the statement caused you some sort of harm. Without proving this, you do not have a case. Here is what you need to know about proving harm in a defamation case.
What Is Defamation?
There is sometimes confusion about what constitutes defamation. In short, defamation occurs when someone knowingly makes a false statement about you that results in harm to you. The statement has to have been heard by a third party. For instance, if your neighbor told others that you stole $500 from his home and he knew this was a false statement, you could possibly sue him for defamation. If his lie resulted in harm to you, then you have a case.
What Type of Harm Must Be Present?
There are different types of harm that can result from a defamatory statement. You could argue that your professional reputation was harmed as a result of your neighbor's statement. If you lost customers at your local business because they heard the statement, believed it, and did not want to do business with you as a result, you could claim this as harm.
Harm is not always related to finances. If you suffered physical or mental anguish as a result of the defamatory statements, you can claim harm. Some health problems, such as depression and insomnia, can result from the false statements of others.
Regardless of the type of harm done, you have to be able to prove to a judge and jury that you suffered. How you prove your case depends on what type of harm you are claiming.
How Do You Prove Your Case?
One method of proving your case is the testimony of others. For instance, if you have witnesses that can attest to the mental anguish from you as a result of what was said, this can help your case. You can also call on witnesses who heard the defamatory statements firsthand so that they can explain exactly how they felt about the statements.
If you suffered financial harm, you need to provide documentation to support it. You could provide financial records for your business before and after the statement to show the effect the defamation had.
A personal injury attorney can help you find the evidence you need to build your case. He or she will also be most familiar with your state's laws on defamation and can frame your case to show that you were truly harmed. For more information, visit http://gomezmaylaw.com/.