Determining the quantity and type of damages you want to receive for slander cases can help plaintiffs decide if going through the entire legal process is worthwhile.
What are slander cases? Slander is a type of defamation. It is spoken defamation, whereas libel is written defamation. Slander is when one person makes false and unprivileged statements against another person and these statements cause damage to that person's reputation or it causes harm to that person.
A plaintiff can seek a number of different types of damages in slander cases.
Compensatory Damages For Economic Losses
Actual or special damages are damages that try to place the plaintiff in an economic position prior to the slander. Actual damages may include loss of wages, loss of employment benefits, expenses due to having to pay for medical professional help, loss of business opportunities, or loss of clients due to the slander. These damages can be calculated to a specific dollar amount. Determining losses of potential earning is a bit trickier to calculate and usually expert witnesses are brought in to backup these claims.
Compensatory Damages For Non-Economic Losses
These damages can also be referred to as general damages. These damages are to compensate victims of slander for their damaged reputation and emotional suffering. Damages are usually negotiated between the two parties involved in the case, along with their lawyers, but juries can also determine these damages.
Sometimes if there's sufficient evidence, a court will decide that the defendant must be punished for their conduct. In these cases, the defendant's who pay punitive damages were usually shown to have acted with fraud or malice. Punitive damages are one way to try to deter the defendant from committing slander in the future.
A plaintiff cannot sabotage themselves in order to receive more damages in their case. If a plaintiff loses their position due to the slander, but is offered a similar position with a similar salary they are expected to take the position. If they take a different position with a lower salary, the defendants can argue that do not owe the plaintiff damages or that they owe less damages since plaintiffs could have taken the higher paying position.