Casualty Law and Legal Definition

Casualty is a term not subject to precise definition, but generally refers to an unforeseen and unpreventable loss or accident, such as damage caused by hurricane or fire, or a shipwreck. A casualty may involve various degree of injury, from property damage to loss of life. A casualty loss may be deducted under tax laws in computing taxable income. In order to qualify for a tax deduction, the casualty causing loss must be unforeseen, sudden, or unusual. For example, damage caused by erosion from water or wind would not qualify. Casualty insurance may be purchased to cover loss from many types of casualties.