Claim legal definition is a legal demand or assertion that is provided by a person who is seeking some type of reimbursement, payment, or compensation for a loss that is under a contract, or because of injury as a result of someone's negligence.

Statement of Claim Definition

A statement of claim definition is listed as a document that will outline the allegations of the plaintiff, that begins the judicial process for seeking a trial. In a statement of claim, the plaintiff must include:

  • What their case is.
  • The facts on which they are relying on to prove their claim.

The document will have to be filed with the court and copies supplied to the defendant so that they can review the facts of the case that the plaintiff is basing their case on. The document will usually be formatted in numbered paragraphs detailing each fact in detail.

There has been some debate about the level of detail that the statement must include. Some legal professionals feel the need for full disclosure of the facts to ensure transparency, while others focus on a more succinct draft. This can become an issue as some courts will not allow facts in a trial that were not listed on the initial claim that pushed the issue to go to court.

An example of this occurred in 1998 in the case of Gevaert versus Arbuckle, which stated the assertion that the statement of claim should fully disclose the case against the defendant. This ruling was made because it is the defendant's responsibility to answer the plaintiff's claim and to do so would require them to know the full facts of the case.

The statement of claim is a vital part of a court case as well as the trial process and making sure it is as detailed as possible will ensure that the defendant is properly informed and the trial judge is not disappointed by not having the full facts of the case before it proceeds to trial.

What Are Legal Claims?

A legal claim is a means for a plaintiff to show the court how the actions of the defendant had caused the plaintiff to suffer some sort of loss either in the past or one they expect to experience in the future. The end goal of a legal claim is to cover the costs of the plaintiff in a way to make them whole again after they have suffered a loss.

An example of a legal claim is a plaintiff who survives a car accident but as a result experiences major injuries. The plaintiff can bring a legal claim against the other driver who was at fault to pay for damages to cover the cost of the injuries as well as other monetary issues or possible loss of wages that will be suffered as a result of the accident injuries.

What Are Equitable Claims?

When a plaintiff seeks what is termed an equitable relief, they are asking the court to provide an injunction. This is a court order that will prevent another party from performing an act that has been specified in the injunction. The court will award an injunction if it is seen that it will prevent an action that could be considered harmful.

This is different from other legal claims in the fact that it is not done to compensate for injuries occurred in the past or for damages that are being sought but to prevent injuries or damage from occurring in the future. An example of an equitable claim would be a city council de-zoning an area for residential use and listing the land or property for commercial use. The neighbors of the property may seek an injunction to prevent this from occurring if they feel that it will cause the damage or problems in the future.

Hybrid Cases

There are cases that include both legal and equitable claims, and these are referred to as hybrid claims. An example of this type of case could be a plaintiff who suffers damages or loss due to policies or procedures that were set forth by the defendant. The plaintiff can seek a legal claim to get compensation for damages they incurred as a result, as well as an equitable claim requesting that the policy is changed to prevent future damage from occurring to the plaintiff or others.

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