The state of Colorado differentiates defamation by determining if it is in the form of defamation per se or defamation per quod. The law recognizes that some statements are so harmful that, by their mere utterance, damage is presumed.
These statements are considered defamatory per se. Other statements cause harm that is much more difficult to quantify. All of these statements, which are still harmful, but are not defamation per se are referred to as defamation per quod.
Defamation Per Se
As previously mentioned, the law presumes certain statements to be inherently harmful. These statements, which constitute defamation per se, include false statements that assert any of the following:
- A person has committed a crime
- A person is unchaste or impotent
- A person has a “loathsome” disease
- The statement is related to their business.
Harm is presumed in any of the previous statements, and as such, the specific harm does not have to be proven at trial.
Defamation Per Quod
Defamation per quod includes all statements that are defamatory, but do not fall under one of the four previously mentioned categories. To have a successful claim for defamation per quod, one must be able to show damages from the defamatory statement at issue.
One example of defamation per quod would be a false accusation that somebody was involved in an automobile accident, thereby causing his insurance premiums to increase. This statement is defamation per quod as it does not fall under any of the previous categories, but it is still a false statement which has caused the subject provable economic harm.
Contact a Defamation Lawyer Colorado Residents Trust
If you’ve been the victim of defamation in Colorado, you must understand which type you’re dealing with. The type of defamation will determine the damages you may be entitled to and how strong your case may be. An experienced Denver defamation lawyer can help you sort out the details and get the compensation you deserve.