Fortuitous event


The word case has its etymological origin in the Latin casus , which refers to a matter , event or fact. Fortuitous, it is something that happens by chance , unforeseen or random . The fortuitous event is a term that is used within civil law to denote what happens for a cause that cannot be resisted or that neither party has caused , or could prevent . It is also defined as an unforeseen event that cannot be prevented.

What is a fortuitous event?

It refers to an event that occurs by chance or accident . Is an occurrence or failure occurs, or is assumed by the parties who are affected so adversely by the occurrence of the particular event .

  • Definition of a fortuitous event
  • Characteristics
  • Fortuitous event by country
  • Difference between acts of God and force majeure
  • Examples

Definition of a fortuitous event

In the field of law , a fortuitous event is an event that has been generated or caused by an individual involuntarily and, for this reason, it is not expected that the person must comply with certain obligations . In other words, it originates when an event makes it impossible to fulfill an obligation , since this event could not have been prevented in any way and, for this reason, it was not able to be avoided .


A fortuitous event is a certain situation that occurs when an event that arises causes that it is not possible to comply with an obligation that has already been established previously since said event could not have been prevented , and due to the same situation, it could not be avoided .


The main characteristics of the fortuitous event are the following:

  • Fortuitous events are unpredictable
  • It happens because of something that was unknown to the individual, although it was part of the internal plane of his action .
  • It is a situation that is considered strange to the debtor, so he cannot have caused it voluntarily .
  • It arises after the cause of the obligation .
  • It hurts the debtor directly.
  • The debtor does not have the capacity and cannot fulfill the obligation .
  • It is unimpeachable .
  • It has the ability to cause harm and its origin cannot be attributed to someone in particular.
  • In the field of law, the fortuitous event follows the case of force majeure .
  • It is generally said that the fortuitous event occurs due to a matter of internal order.
  • To be considered a fortuitous event, the event must be external ; This means that it must occur outside the debtor’s sphere of responsibility .

Fortuitous event by country


In Argentina, everything related to the fortuitous event is found in article 1730.- Fortuitous event . Overwhelming force. A fortuitous event or force majeure is considered to be the fact that it could not be foreseen or that, having been foreseen, it could not be avoided . Fortuitous event or force majeure disclaims responsibility except provision to the contrary. It should be noted that this Code uses the two terms “fortuitous event” and “force majeure” as synonyms .


In Spain we find the fortuitous event in article 1105 of the Civil Code establishes that: “Outside of the cases expressly mentioned in the law, and those in which the obligation so declares , no one will be liable for those events that could not have been foreseen , or that, predicted , were inevitable . “


In Mexico , the concept provided by the Mexican Legal Dictionary of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation regarding the definitions of civil law tells us that the fortuitous event or force majeure presupposes a breach of a contract . However, fortuitous events or force majeure function as a mechanism to release the debtor from breach of contract.

Difference between acts of God and force majeure

There is an established difference between a fortuitous event and a force majeure. By fortuitous event or event we understand everything that happens unexpectedly , that cannot be foreseen by the person, or that or could have been prevented because it happens unexpectedly and includes all the events that come from the human being and that are related with the.

The force majeure refers to what can not be resisted , which is unavoidable . Force majeure implies being faced with a certain situation that cannot be avoided, they are situations that occur in an exceptional way and that do not depend on the will , are irresistible and do not allow action, such as the events that are produced by the nature .


Some examples of fortuitous events are as follows:

  • An individual calmly drives his car. He does it within the permitted speed limits and has not ingested alcohol. On his way back home it starts to rain causing one of his new tires to blow out which causes him to rush onto the sidewalk where an old woman was standing which ends up with considerable trauma.
  • A car that travels on a certain road and a piece of aircraft falls on it, partially or completely destroying your car.
  • Some children playing ball that break a window.

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