For some people, gossip and rumor spreading are parts of everyday life. Although most issues subside quickly, others persist and can have adverse effects on someone’s life. If this occurs, the victim may not know whether to confront the rumors or sue the person spreading them. In some cases, a person may need to take both actions because defamation of character is considered a matter for a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Damage From Rumors
It can be an uphill battle to fight rumors. Because such statements are typically prefaced with ‘I hear’ or ‘I wonder’, finding the true source can be almost impossible. Furthermore, once rumors have gone through multiple people via text, email and personal conversations, they mutate into multiple versions of an untrue story. What starts out as an innocuous observation can quickly turn into a damaging rumor, but unfortunately, once something is spread to others, it can never be completely erased.
Defending Against Malicious Gossip
Legal experts warn victims against seeking revenge. As tempting as it can be to sink to the rumor-monger’s level, it only lessens a victim’s credibility. If it’s possible, the victim should try to set things straight, as ignoring rumors can give them credence in the court of public opinion. Depending on the nature of the issue, a victim may be able to use social media to post a defense to a select group.
Taking Legal Action
In the most extreme cases, a victim may be able to hire a Personal Injury Lawyer and sue for his or her lost reputation, mental anguish and financial damages. When the victim consults a lawyer, they can learn what must be proven for a successful case. In most instances, it must be proven that someone recklessly and knowingly spread rumors to others and that the victim suffered measurable harm as a result. If a person suffers health or financial effects because of gossip, they may be entitled to legal relief.
It is not necessary to turn the other cheek when rumors start to fly. Idle gossip can easily turn into something malicious, and victims have the right to defend themselves.