Have You Been Injured On Social Media?
It seems like everyone has a social media account of some kind these days. Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or another platform, it can be fun to post fun moments in your life, and to see what others are up to. Unfortunately, there are those who use social media to disparage others, ruining reputations. If you find yourself a victim of online bullying, defamation, or libel, you may have cause to file a personal injury case.
So what if a negative post shows up online! Aren’t people entitled to their own opinions? Maybe—but if it’s a personal attack that is provably false, or if it is harassment, false accusations, that goes beyond simply expressing a negative opinion. In fact any unwelcome conduct, from name-calling and intimidation to offensive jokes or pictures could put the person who posted or shared it in legal jeopardy. Cyber bullying or defamation, whether it occurs among school-age kids or older adults, can be destructive, and perpetrators can be held legally responsible for the consequences of their conduct. So what precisely differentiates a negative opinion from actual defamation? According to Florida law, there are certain elements that a victim of defamation must be able to demonstrate in order to successfully file suit:
- A false and defamatory statement was made;
- The statement was published and seen by others;
- There was real harm caused;
- The statements were made negligently or with malice.
Harms from Defamation/Libel/Bullying
While every situation is different, it is not uncommon for a variety of difficulties to befall a victim of cybercrimes whose reputation has been tarnished, including:
- Emotional distress, often requiring counseling and/or medical treatment;
- Short- and long-term employment repercussions;
- Relationship issues;
- Housing issues.
Florida statute allows for the aggrieved victim of this kind of action to seek civil penalties including injunctive relief requiring the culprit to remove the damaging material, and damages related to the harm caused.
Statute of Limitations
When it comes to defamation, victims have just two years to initiate a lawsuit against the perpetrator. While victims may be tempted to suffer in silence or to handle the problem without stirring things up, letting bullies get away with this type of behavior rarely leads to its termination. The Kissimmee personal injury attorneys at Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. can help you today. This is not your fault, and there is no reason to allow a malicious or negligent individual to get away with it for another minute. To discuss the specifics of your case and the possible routes forward, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.