Defamation Lawyers

Our Defamation lawyers handle claims for a wide range of defamation claims. Defamation is an injury to reputation or character by spoken or written words that would reasonably cause others to "shun, ridicule or avoid" the person to whom the words refer.

Do I have a defamation claim?

Check to see if you are entitled to compensation. If you have a question, please get in touch with our team.

Do you have a potential defamation claim?

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What do you do if you have
been defamed in Queensland?

Are you a company owner or individual about someone has spoken or published offensive remarks concerning your character or conduct? Are you concerned that the publication or its repetition might harm your reputation or goodwill?

Depending on the context in which the statement was made in the persons to whom it was spoken or published, you may in the absence of any defence of “privilege” be entitled to defamation damages.

We can help you resolve the matter with the publication of an apology and where this is not possible or refused, to seek compensation through the court. Our Defamation Lawyers will provide accurate and timely advice on efficiently and expeditiously resolving the matter.

If you believe your reputation has been damaged, it is important to get early legal advice on your rights. Time limits apply.

1

Making a defamation claim

The procedure to follow is to have a legal notice prepared by law you and then served upon the defamer (a Concerns Notice). This allows the defamer to propose a means to “make amends” and to offer compensation.

There are several convenient and non-litigious approaches to settle defamation disputes. If you suspect you’ve been defamed, you should consult a defamation lawyer as soon as possible to prevent further spreading of the defamatory content.

2

Defending a Defamation Claim

Generally, suppose you have been accused of publishing defamatory content. In that case, you may receive a Notice of Concern, or court records in some instances (especially when an individual is self-represented) before any other notice is provided.

Receive a letter demanding that you cease and desist or accusing you of defamation. You must contact our defamation lawyers immediately to determine how to mitigate your risks and handle the claims in the letter.

How much could I be compensated for defamation?

When it comes to a case of non-economic damages, the maximum amount of damage that could be compensated for individual defamation cases generally is capped at $407,500.

Though, this restriction does not apply if the court is convinced that the situation in which the defamatory matter relating to the proceedings describe warrant an award of punitive damages. There is no limit on the amount of economic loss that the courts can award.

For example, accusations bordering on those of paedophilia are considered to be of the utmost defamatory nature. Queensland cases establish that even being accused of having been investigated sex crimes can bring an award of $50,000.

Damages include those for reparation of the harm done to reputation; for consolation for the personal distress and hurt caused by the publication (“solatium”); and those for proven losses, e.g. income loss.

There must be an appropriate and rational relationship between the harm sustained and the damages awarded. Still, they should be awarded in an amount the defamed person can point out the baselessness of the accusation, to a bystander.

What publishing is not deemed 'defamation'?

Some statements enjoy absolute privilege, i.e. those that are made in Parliament or as part of court proceedings. The reporting of the material contained in such circumstances or a “public document” is also exempt provided the publication containing the defamatory words is published “honestly for the information of the public or the advancement of education”.

Statements expressed to be of an opinion rather than of a fact, provided they are reasonably based and in respect to a matter of public interest, are also exempt.

Are there any time limits in making a defamation claim?

A lawsuit, if required, must be commenced within 12 months of the defamatory statement. Still, this period can be extended by up to 3 years if for example – because the defamation did not come to persons attention in the 12 months – it was not reasonable to expect the claimed to have been commenced in court within such time.

If no defense to the claim is filed, the damage to reputation is presumed. Either party may select a jury if the matter proceeds to trial.

Types of injuries that can occur due to defamation?

Defamation may cause significant emotional and psychological distress, just like any other form of bullying.

Reputation tarnished

Mental suffering

Personal / Business economic loss

Non-economic loss (general damages)

The CCL method

Our compensation lawyers will quickly review the circumstances of your case to determine your prospects of a successful personal injury claim. And once we have approved your case the claim process can be promptly started following the CCL method

Process

Assemble the initial information you are able to provide

Proper case preparation demands meticulous attention to detail. That's why right from the start, we collect all the facts and continuously verify them with you and other sources. Constant updates to your comprehensive statement will ensure everyone - you, us, medical specialists and barristers - stay precisely on the same page.

Process

Prepare initiating Claim Notice.

Once sufficient facts have been collected and the identity of the at-fault party confirmed, and initial Claim Notice can be completed in a way that persuasively asserts the basis and extent of your compensation request.

Process

Keep collecting the facts.

Diligent claim preparation requires a comprehensive understanding of your medical income and employment histories. We will obtain records from accident related treatment provided as well as from health professionals who have treated you for any prior conditions. Employment and income records asked also be collected and diligently examined .

Process

Medical investigation of injury.

The extent of accident related injury must be independently verified by medical experts. Because compensation is paid for the permanent effects from an injury, specialist medical assessment is deferred until 9 – 12 months post injury. We'll arrange examinations with appropriate specialists and the insurer of the at-fault party is entitled also to have you examined by its specialists.

Process

Formulation

Once all information has been collected and medical specialist reports obtained, we will carefully formulate the "damages" components of your claim demand. The CCL Method requires that every component - general damages, lost wages, expenses you have incurred, the value of past and future domestic care and the value of loss of future earning capacity - is based on authoritative evidence.

Process

Negotiation

After the insurer has considered your damages ask, a settlement conference is arranged to attempt to negotiate a resolution. Although informal, the success of the conference depends on the extent of preparation that has gone before it. Offers will be exchanged and if the insurer is being reasonable, the conference offers a good opportunity to finalise the claim.

Process

Settlement not reached: heading to court

If you are unable to reach an agreement within 60 days after the conference, a Claim and Statement of Claim must be filed in court in relation to your accident. The defendant may then file a Defence and the court process then continues until the dispute is listed for a trial where witnesses are called to give oral evidence and a judge makes a final determination.

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