What Is Libel?

Libel is a defamatory statement that appears in the written word, which can include letters, newspapers, blog posts, chat rooms, and even the comments sections on web sites. To be labeled as libel, the statement must be a lie that the teller knows to be a lie, and the lie must harm the subject in some way, such as financially.

Defining Slander

Slander is similar to libel, but it’s a defamatory statement that is spoken. Some people might confuse an opinion for slander, but this isn’t the case. In order for it to be considered slander, the statement must be made as if it were a fact. A third person must also be a witness to the statement when it was made if the slander case is ever brought to court.

Proving Libel & Slander

Proving libel is easy enough if you have access to the written defamatory statement. Slander can be more difficult to prove without the help of a third party witness. Many victims of libel and slander choose to seek out the help of injury lawyers who understand libel and slander law to help them recover damages from this intentional and harmful act.

Making untrue statements that are intended to harm – such as that person had a dishonorable discharge from the military, that hotel is infested with bed bugs, or that person steals money from employers – can lead to lost business, broken relationships, and unemployment. If a person can prove a defamatory statement is untrue and harmed him or her in some way, the case just might make its way to a court.