What does it take to sue someone for defamation of character?

My girlfriend is going through a messy divorce and now I have been dragged into it. Her soon to be ex husband has now gone to social services accusing me of touching their youngest daughter. Now I have to deal with weeks of social service investigations and am not aloud around the children, who have became my world. I want to know if when found innocent I can sue him for such, or if I even have to wait that long to get things started. As well as what I have to do to get things started. Secondly do lawyers take such cases on the base of getting X amount of dollars once the case is won or what? Never had to deal with a lawyer.

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Personal Injury, Kentucky


Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In order to prove a defamation case, you must show that someone said something about you that was false.  You have to show that the false infomation was said to a third party and that when the person speaking the false information said it, they knew it was false.  You also have to show you have suffered monetary or economic damages solely as a result of the false information.  These are difficult cases to pursue and prove.  Some attorneys may take a case such as this on a contingency fee, meaning they keep a percentage of any recovery you get.  Other attorneys may charge you an hourly fee.  You could end up spending a lot of money out of pocket and even if you did get a judgment against your girlfriend's ex, you may never actually see the money.  These are all factors you have to weigh before deciding to go ahead with a suit. 

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