Claims are legal rights you assert against another person or party. A claim can be made for money, property, or for a certain type of action (like the return of personal property, etc.). Most claims are for money to compensate for financial losses that someone has incurred after an accident or similar incident.
The term “claim” is also used for other actions other than lawsuits, such as workers’ compensation and getting Social Security benefits. Any legal right to money, property, or benefits can be considered a claim. In a legal setting, there are a few ways claims are used.
Types of Legal Claims
There are several types of claims in the legal context. A claim typically will fall into one of two categories: equitable claims or legal claims.
A legal claim happens when someone else causes damage to you or your property and you would like them to reimburse or repay you for those losses. In order to prove your claim, you must meet certain qualifications and your damages must have a direct correlation to the accident.
If you were injured in an auto accident for example, you wouldn’t have had to pay medical bills or go through surgery if the accident hadn’t happened. That is why the goal of this type of claim is to make you whole again. In this case, the person who caused the damage should have to reimburse you for those costs. Most personal injury cases are based on legal claims, including:
- Car accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall (also called premises liability) claims
- Product liability cases
An equitable claim asks for a different type of damage than a legal claim. These damages may include money, but usually are based on an underlying notion of fairness. This may ask for items that are not monetary in nature, like the performance of an action that was previously agreed upon or an injunction (which prevents some action from occurring). Specific performance may require someone else to do something, such as complete a contract, while an injunction stops someone from taking a specific kind of action. These remedies sometimes help avoid or limit damages that may happen in the future.
Technically, legal claims and insurance claims operate separately from each other. Asserting a claim with an insurance company uses a process that doesn’t depend on legal requirements. Each insurance company has its own reporting requirements that must be followed so you don’t accidentally waive your ability to make a claim against your own insurance company.
If a claim is not honored or it is rejected or ignored, the next step may be a lawsuit.
Regardless of the type of claim you have, Premier Law Group can help walk you through your unique situation. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping people just like you work through any type of claim. Let us start by giving you a FREE consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 206-285-1743, or fill out the form and get your free consultation today.