Fault Law and Legal Definition

Fault is a negligent or intentional failure to act reasonably or according to law or duty. It is an improper act or omission causing injury to another and arising from ignorance, carelessness, or negligence.

Faults may be gross, ordinary, and slight. Gross fault or neglect consists in not observing that care towards others which a least attentive person usually takes of his/her own affairs. Ordinary faults consist in the omission of that care which mankind generally pays to their own concern. A slight fault consists in the want of that care which very attentive persons take of their own affairs.

Under law of tort, fault takes the form of malice, intention and negligence. The plaintiff would have to prove fault on the part of the alleged tort feasor, failing which the claim for damages fails.

In civil law, fault is an essential ingredient for a claim based on an alleged delict.

Under Contract law, if a party derives no benefit from his undertaking he is answerable only for his gross faults. When the parties have a reciprocal interest, as in contract of sale, they are responsible for ordinary neglect. If the party receives only advantage, as in the case of loan for use, he is answerable for his slight fault.