Defamation or slander is a type of personal injury, and in many cases the harm done by slander and defamation can be worse than physical injury. It can destroy carefully cultivated goodwill and set you back financially. A defamation lawsuit can help you regain prestige.
With reference to personal injury law, defamation is defined as a false statement that injures somebody’s reputation.
It is understandable that you consider costs before hiring an attorney. Usually, attorneys that work for plaintiffs in defamation suits work on a contingency basis, i.e., they get paid only if they can get you compensation. The attorney, after settling expenses with you, may charge up to 40% of the compensation amount as fees. Of course, the amount can also be lower depending upon how soon the case is solved. You lose less if the case gets resolved earlier. If the matter drags on, the fees rise.
Defendants in a defamation case do not have the luxury of contingency payment. They will, most likely, pay the attorney an hourly fee. This is apart from the expenses that an attorney incurs. Apart from this amount, you may also have to pay a retainer to the lawyer.
For plaintiffs, the attorney will bear the expenses for the duration of the case. You will reimburse the law firm later, if you win compensation. This is a common arrangement and a good one for the plaintiff. Gathering evidence to prove the facts of the matter can be a costly affair. Interrogations and depositions cost money.
As a plaintiff, you’d be expected to prove how a defamatory statement has affected your property, business, reputation, and trade. It can be difficult to assign a monetary value for the losses that you have suffered because many of the losses are intangible. In order to prove the loss you have suffered, you may have to hire an expert witness. Such witnesses do not come cheap.
You need the services of an experienced law firm that understands the importance of evidence and facts that can prove slander, libel, and defamatory statements. A good lawyer can counsel you on how to pace the case. If you are in a position to press related claims but the time isn’t opportune, then the lawyer will tell you so. A personal injury lawyer will inform you of how civil procedures need to be carried out, and the difficulties therein.
Discoveries are the most crucial and most expensive aspect of building a defamation lawsuit. In this stage, both sides share information. You need an attorney that can obtain information that you will need, particularly from the other party.
If an out-of-court settlement is not possible, then a defamation matter heads for a trial, where the amount of preparation that your lawyer has put into the case will matter a lot. Such cases depend a lot on witnesses and expert testimonies. Personal injury attorneys will work with the jury to ensure fair compensation for you.