If you have read a statement or article and felt you have been wronged, then you might want to know about libel laws in Texas. The state of Texas has strict laws regarding defamation of character and libel. Generally, private figures are not protected by the law, but they may be liable if they have been harmed by it. Public figures, such as celebrities, can sue for defamation if someone tries to use their image to promote their business. Personal Injury
Libel laws Texas apply when a statement is made with malice. "Malice" does not necessarily mean that the defendant intentionally fabricated the statement, but it means they made it with knowledge that it was not true. Negligence means that the defendant failed to take reasonable steps to verify the statement was true before publishing it. It may be as simple as asking the person who made the statement if it is true, or asking someone who knows the facts of the situation to verify the statement. The defense will argue that other events on the job caused the problem.
Texas officials say the new law protects public officials from having their words used to harm them. They also want to make the legal process faster and easier. For this reason, many libel lawsuits are won by celebrities or public officials. This is because the state has an extensive network of attorneys nationwide, including many who specialize in the topic. However, you must know that there are many ways to avoid being sued. For instance, you could try to retraction of the article, but be aware that it must be in the same way as the original. RM Warner Law, an attorney in the Houston area, specializes in defending celebrities and public officials.
Besides legal protections against libel claims, media liability insurance policies can help publishers avoid lawsuits. Media liability insurance policies have strict guidelines for online publication, and a minimum premium of $2,500 for a $1 million limit will cover the cost of defending yourself against libel suits. If you don't have coverage through your business insurance policy, your insurer will carefully review your website or blog and may insist that you adhere to certain standards or procedures, including screening for offensive content and taking down content after receiving a complaint.
The definition of defamation differs in every state. It is a violation of a person's reputation. It can be done verbally or in writing. In Texas, libel laws protect a person's reputation, and a publisher or media outlet's failure to do so could cause a lawsuit. In Texas, the defendant must have actual malice in publishing a false statement. In addition, it must have a disproportionate degree of fault with regards to the truth of the statement.
The defendant's failure to notify the media and apologize to the public will likely trigger a libel lawsuit. However, the plaintiff must prove that they first learned of the statement or publication, otherwise the statute of limitations begins. In Texas, a defamatory statement is unlikely to be discovered before the statute of limitations begins to run. In Childs v. Haussecker, the statute of limitations begins running when the plaintiff becomes aware of it.