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Claimant vs. Plaintiff: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A claimant is someone who makes a claim, usually in a non-legal context, while a plaintiff is specifically a person who brings a lawsuit in a court of law.
Claimant vs. Plaintiff

Key Differences

A claimant is broadly defined as an individual or entity asserting a right or claim, typically for compensation or benefits, in various contexts, not necessarily legal. In contrast, a plaintiff is a legal term referring to the party who initiates a lawsuit in civil court, alleging a wrong done by the defendant.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
The term claimant does not inherently imply a legal dispute, and can be used in situations like insurance claims, where someone seeks something owed to them. On the other hand, a plaintiff is specifically involved in legal proceedings, signifying a formal accusation or charge in a court setting.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
Claimants are often found in administrative settings, like filing claims for unemployment benefits, where the process may not involve a court. In comparison, plaintiffs are always a part of the judicial system, engaged in litigation to resolve disputes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
The role of a claimant is not limited to seeking financial restitution; it can also involve rights and entitlements in various non-legal scenarios. Conversely, plaintiffs are primarily involved in seeking legal remedies, such as damages or injunctions, through formal legal action.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
The burden of proof can vary for claimants depending on the context, whereas for plaintiffs, it typically involves proving their case against the defendant in the legal arena, adhering to specific legal standards and procedures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Context

Can be in non-legal scenarios like claims for benefits.
Always in a legal context, specifically civil lawsuits.
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Nov 10, 2023

Legal Involvement

Not necessarily involved in legal proceedings.
Inherently involved in legal proceedings.
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Nov 10, 2023

Objective

Seeking something owed, like compensation or benefits.
Seeking legal remedy, like damages, due to a wrong.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Burden of Proof

Varies based on context.
Must prove the case against the defendant in court.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Scope

Broader, not confined to legal disputes.
Specifically related to legal disputes in civil courts.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Claimant and Plaintiff Definitions

Claimant

Someone who demands compensation for loss or injury.
The insurance claimant provided evidence of the damage to her car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Plaintiff

A litigant seeking a legal remedy for a grievance.
The plaintiff demanded compensation for the injuries sustained in the accident.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Claimant

A person seeking redress or asserting a claim outside court.
The claimant for the reward provided crucial information to the police.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Plaintiff

A person who brings a lawsuit against another in a court of law.
The plaintiff sued the company for breach of contract.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Claimant

An individual asserting a right in a non-legal context.
As a claimant to the throne, he sought the support of the nobles.
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Nov 10, 2023
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Plaintiff

An individual or entity filing a complaint in court.
The plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Claimant

A person making a formal request for something they believe is due.
The claimant applied for unemployment benefits after losing her job.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Plaintiff

The party initiating legal proceedings in a civil case.
The plaintiff alleged negligence in the medical malpractice case.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Claimant

A party that stands to gain from a claim or assertion.
The claimant to the estate was required to prove their lineage.
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Nov 10, 2023

Plaintiff

The party that institutes a suit in a court.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Claimant

A party that makes a claim, especially one that is legally cognizable.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plaintiff

A party bringing a suit in civil law against a defendant; accuser.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Claimant

One who claims; one who makes a claim.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plaintiff

One who commences a personal action or suit to obtain a remedy for an injury to his rights; - opposed to defendant.
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Oct 19, 2023

Claimant

(UK) A person receiving money from the government, in a form of unemployment benefits, disability benefits or similar.
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Oct 19, 2023

Plaintiff

See Plaintive.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Claimant

(legal) The party who initiates a lawsuit before a court.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plaintiff

A person who brings an action in a court of law
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Claimant

One who claims; one who asserts a right or title; a claimer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plaintiff

Someone who alleges wrongdoings in a legal context.
The plaintiff claimed that her intellectual property rights were violated.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Claimant

Someone who claims a benefit or right or title;
Claimants of unemployment compensation
He was a claimant to the throne
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What might a claimant seek?

Anything from compensation, benefits, to asserting a right or entitlement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

What does a plaintiff do?

A plaintiff initiates a lawsuit in a court of law, seeking legal remedy for a grievance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

What is a claimant?

An individual or entity making a claim or asserting a right, often in non-legal contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

What is the goal of a plaintiff?

To obtain a legal remedy, like damages or injunctions, through a lawsuit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is a plaintiff always part of a legal case?

Yes, plaintiffs are exclusively involved in legal proceedings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is the term plaintiff used outside of court cases?

No, it's specifically used in the context of legal actions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a claimant be involved in legal proceedings?

Yes, but the term is also used in non-legal contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a claimant be a company or organization?

Yes, both individuals and organizations can be claimants.
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Nov 10, 2023

Is legal representation required for a claimant?

It's not always required, but legal representation can be beneficial, depending on the complexity of the case.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a claimant and plaintiff be the same person?

Yes, if the person making a claim also brings a lawsuit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Does a plaintiff always seek financial damages?

Plaintiffs often seek financial damages, but they can also seek other remedies, like injunctions or declaratory judgments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Does a claimant always seek monetary compensation?

Not always. A claimant can seek various types of remedies, including but not limited to monetary compensation.
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Nov 10, 2023

What is a plaintiff?

A plaintiff is a person or entity who initiates a lawsuit in civil court against another party, called the defendant.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can there be multiple plaintiffs in a case?

Yes, a lawsuit can have multiple plaintiffs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is the term "plaintiff" used in criminal cases?

No, in criminal cases, the party bringing the charges is usually the state or government, not a plaintiff.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is the plaintiff always the victim in a case?

Not necessarily. The plaintiff is the party bringing the lawsuit, which may or may not be the direct victim of the alleged wrongdoing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Is the term "claimant" used in specific types of cases?

"Claimant" is commonly used in civil, employment, and insurance contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a claimant become a defendant in the same case?

Typically, a claimant remains the party making the claim, but in counterclaims, they can also be a defendant.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

Can a plaintiff be a government body?

Yes, government entities can act as plaintiffs in civil lawsuits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 10, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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