Finding out someone has said something about you online that is false can be extremely damaging. It can hurt you psychologically and damage your reputation. This is why there are defamation laws. These laws ensure people cannot commit slander or libel against someone. If you find yourself in a situation where someone has posted something about you online that is not true, you may be wondering what action to take. Here are the steps you should follow if you find yourself the victim of someone defaming you.
Try to Get the Post Taken Down
If you find something posted about you online that is not true, you should attempt to get the post, video, picture or other offending material removed. There are various ways you can do this. If you know who posted the information, such as someone posting something about you on their Facebook page, you can ask them to delete the information. If they do not, you can ask the site to remove the information. In the above scenario, you would contact Facebook and explain the information is false and ask them to remove it. The last option would be to ask the company that hosts the website to have the website removed for allowing false information to be hosted on their website. The best way to make any of these requests is with a cease and desist letter.
Determine if Their Post Warrants a Defamation Case
The next thing you will want to do is determine if whatever was posted warrants a defamation case. You can file a case even if the information was removed. As long as it meets the criteria and was posted for any period of time, you can file a claim.
In order to warrant a defamation case, the statement made has to be false. If it is a matter of opinion or preference, such as food tasting bad, or someone's clothes being outdated, that is not defamation. The statement must be posted publicly for a claim to be made. Writing a private letter to a company about a product you believe is harmful is not defamation. Posting online that you are sure it is harmful when you aren't can be defamation. Another criterion to meet to determine whether actionable defamation occurred is whether the person who posted knew or should have reasonably known the information they posted was false. And lastly, there must be some sort of damage in order to have a defamation case. If something was posted online, but no one saw it, and it can be proven there were no hits to the website during that time, then no damage occurred.
File a Personal Injury Defamation Lawsuit
If you can prove that a post was defamatory, and you sustained psychological damage because of it, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. This lawsuit will help you recover money for any medical or psychological bills you sustained because of the post, any wages you lost due to the post or harassment that occurred because of the post, and any pain and suffering you sustained because of it. It is important to note that a personal injury defamation lawsuit only covers personal injury. If your business reputation was damaged or you lost clients or money because of a post about your business, you will need to file a business or corporation defamation of character lawsuit.
It can be traumatic and hurtful to see people posting false information about you online. Fortunately, many states are adopting online bullying laws to prevent this from happening. In the meantime, personal injury defamation lawsuits can be filed in certain circumstances. If you see false information about you posted online, finding out what to steps to take can help you remedy the situation as best as possible. Contact a firm, like Katz Nowinski PC , for more help.