The statement of claim is a legal document which is filed by the plaintiff against the defendant. It sets out the complainants allegations as to the facts concerning a case and the perceived compensation they are looking for. This is part of any judicial process claiming damages from the defendant.
This document is used in many cases including insurance claims, breach of contract claims, small claims court and auto accident personal injury claims. A statement of claim is filed at the appropriate court and copies are sent to the plaintiff and the defendant. It must lay out the facts that support the claims of the petitioner, basically enumerated in paragraph forms. Lawyers have their own way of making these claims; some prefer detailed, succinct and full disclosure of all the facts governing the case while others prefer generalized and standard formats. Depending on the practice in your jurisdiction, the statement of claim may come in standard legal forms.
Whatever case the statement of claim is used for, it should disclose existing and recognized claims against the respondent. In short, this document informs the defendant about the claims of the plaintiff. This commences the legal action of the plaintiff and requires a statement of defense from the respondent. Failure to respond may result in a judgment against the defendant. Often, the statement of claim is considered as one of the first steps in any legal proceeding resolved through trial. In auto accident personal injury cases, the statement of claim plays a crucial role in the trial process. In some instances, failure to include essential facts which are relevant to the perceived value of damages can upset the results of the case. A well written auto accident statement of claim ensures that the plaintiff will get what the defendant owes him. Assistance from a personal injury lawyer is necessary as this document requires an in depth analysis of the damages the petitioner can claim.
Laws governing auto accident statements of claim may differ depending on the jurisdiction or state where the case is filed. Some auto accident statements of claims are available as generic legal forms. However, assistance in preparing an auto accident statement of claim may still be necessary, especially since the majority of petitioners are not well versed in calculating damages and claims. It is also important to note that each state sets a limit in the amount which can be claimed. Other cases with larger amount of damages may require filing separate personal injury claims. Some jurisdictions also stipulate other limitations and provide specific time limits as to the filing of claims. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you on what is the best legal course to take.
If you are the defendant in an auto accident claim, you must respond quickly upon receipt or knowledge of the statement of claim, if you plan to defend the claim. The defendant is given an ample amount of time, normally a month’s time, to file his statement of defense. If the defendant fails to respond timely, the court may judge the case against you, even without your presence. You will then be ordered to pay the plaintiff what he or she has stated in the auto accident statement of claim.
Whether you are the plaintiff or defendant in an auto accident claim, it is highly recommended that you consult a personal injury lawyer in relation to any issues with the auto accident statement of claim.