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What to Do When You’ve Been Accused of Slander or Libel

Defamation lawsuits have gotten a lot of recognition in the news lately as individuals feel more apt to accuse businesses and other high-profile individuals of slander and libel. From Silicon Valley to sports, defamation lawsuits are able to affect any industry and any business. While having a lawsuit killed before it’s brought up isn’t possible, there are steps that can be taken to reduce risk and damages.

If a business doesn’t have an insurance plan lined up, it’s important to look into. Local insurance companies in Florida offer helpful coverage, like general liability insurance, that protect businesses of all kinds against defamation claims. Without proper insurance coverage, a business can face thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal costs, even if there’s a not guilty verdict.

Slander and Libel Claims

Slander and libel claims can’t just be thrown around. They must meet certain criteria in order to be considered legitimate. Whatever line, phrase or conversation that is being put under the microscope and claimed against can’t be something that was whispered or an unofficial statement, for instance.

Slander and libel claims must highlight verbiage that turned out to be inaccurate information, caused some sort of harm, injury or loss of some kind, or injury caused by the defendant. In terms of a claim against a business, someone at the company had to have made a claim that wasn’t true at all, caused some sort of harm (possibly being fired) and be the one to cause harm initially.

What To Do

It’s an intimidating thing to be served a letter claiming a defamation lawsuit against your business. This, however, doesn’t mean the person or company being sued is out of options. As mentioned above, having insurance already in place can help guard against certain measures taken in libel suits. A legal representative of someone claiming defamation may be overstating their client’s entitlement when it comes to seeking more money in damages.

The most important thing to do is to seek legal advice immediately. Someone has to prove, not just assert, that there were slanderous or libel things said or done, and has caused them some harm or loss. Simply bringing a suit to life doesn’t mean this will bring damages against someone or some company being accused.

A letter may require the accused to respond and by a certain date and time, for example 7-12 business days. Legal action may commence if this is not met and legal fees will skyrocket. But sometimes someone who brings a claim up may decide not to pursue any further legal action due to weaknesses in their claim. Regardless, having insurance lined up and a legal defense in order will make the difference in suffering expensive, and reputation-hurting, legal trouble or being unaffected.

About Advanced Insurance Underwriters

At Advanced Insurance Underwriters, we offer specialized programs to safeguard small business owners like you. From general liability to cyber liability protection, we have the solutions you need to thrive. For more information about our products, give us a call today at (800) 660-7734.