In terms of money damages, your defamation case might be worth millions of dollars, even a billion. Alex Jones, for example, lost several defamation cases brought against him and was eventually ordered to pay more than $965 million in damages. See the PBS media report here. As another example recently in the news, a jury awarded Johnny Depp $10 million against his ex-wife Amber Heard. See the NBC report here.
At the other extreme, you may succeed in proving defamation, but only be awarded “nominal damages” of $1. And, of course, you may not be successful — litigation results can never be guaranteed — and you will receive no monetary damages. For a better sense of what your case might be worth, seek a consultation with a top-tier Defamation Law Firm — like Revision Legal. If you need a defamation lawyer, call us.
Defamation cases happen when someone or some business lies about you and publishes the lies. In more legal terms, someone publishes “false statements” about you that cause injury/harm to your reputation or business. The victim must prove that harm has occurred and in what amount. A business, for example, might be able to prove lost profits or a lost contract because of the published false statements. If actual harm/injury cannot be proven sufficiently, then that is when nominal damages might be awarded. That means that the court and/or the jury agreed that defamation occurred but that injury/harm was not proven sufficiently. It may sound useless to be awarded only nominal damages, but you have a tremendous victory in that your reputation has been restored, and the defaming party has been proven to be a liar. Also, in defamation cases, even when only nominal damages are awarded, usually the court can order the defaming party to pay your attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. That can be a substantial sum of money.
How to maximize your damage recovery in a defamation lawsuit
To maximize your damage recovery in a defamation lawsuit, it is necessary to have solid and provable actual losses, which can be shown via testimony and documents. Generally, there are three categories of money damages in defamation cases:
- Actual damages — generally called compensatory damages; these include actual identifiable losses like lost profits, the value of a lost contract or business opportunity, or medical bills; also in this category are things like damages for emotional distress
- Nominal damages – discussed above; some minimal amount where actual identifiable losses have not been or cannot be proven.
- Exemplary or punitive damages – available when the defamation is egregious; awarded to punish the person making the defamation and to deter others; about half of the Alex Jones damages were punitive damages
So, let’s look at a couple of examples. If your business was defamed and you suffered lost profits, then the necessary proof would involve evidence of profits made before the defamation compared to the profits made after the defamation. Other evidence might include financial statements, testimony from customers, etc. Expert opinion reports and testimony would be needed. As another example, if the victim suffered emotional distress, then medical records and testimony from treating physicians would likely be needed.
Contact The Defamation Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the experienced Defamation Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.