Skip to content


Claim Definition

A claim is a legal demand or assertion by an individual that is seeking some form of payment, compensation, reimbursement, or loss under a contract because of another's negligence. 

What Is a Statement of Claim?

A statement of claim is a document that lists the allegations of the plaintiff that begins with the judicial process for going to trial. The plaintiff must include the following in their statement of claim: 

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

The document has to be filed with the court, and then copies have to be provided to the defendant so that they can review their facts. Usually, the statement of claim is a bullet point list with facts and descriptions in individual paragraphs. 

There is some debate about whether to disclose too much or too little on a statement of claim. Some attorneys recommend transparency, and others recommend only to disclose what is needed. It is best to list all the facts because some courts will not allow facts to be discussed in a court case that was not included in the initial statement of claim. 

What Are Legal Claims?

Legal claims are a way for a plaintiff to show the court how the actions of the defendant caused the plaintiff damages or future loss. The objective of a legal claim is to cover the costs a plaintiff suffered to make them whole again after they suffered an injury caused by the defendant. Legal claims require a great amount of detail to file properly. It is essential to be precise with drafting legal claims to be sure that the appropriate amount of damages is awarded to the plaintiff when the case is decided upon by a judge. 

What Are Equitable Claims?

Equitable claims are when a plaintiff asks the court to provide an injunction. An injunction 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 determined that the injunction will successfully prevent an action that could be harmful to the plaintiff. The difference between an injunction and legal claims is that an injunction is not necessarily financial; it is attempting to prevent future damages caused to the plaintiff. 

Are There Hybrid Cases?

Hybrid cases are cases that include both equitable and legal claims. An example of a hybrid case would be a plaintiff who suffers damages due to procedures or policies that were set forth by the defendant. In this scenario, a plaintiff could seek a legal claim to get some form of compensation for damages they incurred and an equitable claim that requests the defendant to change the policy to prevent future damages. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to File My Claim with a Court?

Having a lawyer help file an upcoming case is a wise decision. There are many important nuances required by courts to file a claim correctly. Also, if the defendant ends up hiring a lawyer, it will be challenging to represent the case without the advice of an attorney. Most courts in the United States allow plaintiffs to have attorneys represent their case. The only courts that are more restrictive are Small Claims Courts since they have a lower dollar amount in question than other courts in the United States. If an individual is considering going to court and investing the time and money that litigation requires, it is wise to hire an attorney that can assist with the best possible strategy for their upcoming case. This way, there will be no big mistakes made by an individual who is filing without any form of advice from an attorney. 

Claim Glossary Definition

A claim is something that a plaintiff seeks to recover from damages a defendant caused to their person, property, or finances. Claims have to be carefully listed when filing documents with the court. Failure to provide exact information can cause significant issues in what information a plaintiff can successfully present to a court. Plaintiffs are encouraged to carefully assess what particular damages a defendant caused them to have the most successful outcome for their upcoming case.