Legal fact


A legal fact is the behavior of a person or act of nature that has legal consequences in a certain territory.

When carrying out a behavior, a person may be carrying out a legal act without having knowledge of it, or they may be carrying it out knowing that their behavior will have legal consequences.

The legal fact may be caused by:

  • Behavior of the person:
    • Voluntary: It is done willingly on the part of the individual, although the legal consequences may be ignored. For example, the purchase of real estate.
    • Involuntary: It is carried out by an action or behavior of the individual that has not been voluntary, for example, death or birth is an involuntary legal fact, which have legal consequences.
  • Natural fact: This refers to acts of nature that have legal consequences, such as:
    • Natural disasters that devastate properties and create a legal obligation, for example, between the insured and the insurer. These disasters are known as force majeure.
    • Facts that have not been caused by nature or by human behavior because there was no way to prevent, such as, for example, an accident of two vehicles through no fault of the drivers. This is known as a fortuitous event.

Characteristics of the legal facts

Legal facts have certain characteristics:

  • Behaviors that produce legal effects.
  • The consequences of the legal fact is creation, modification, transfer, transmission or extinction of a right
  • One or two people can intervene.
  • If the legal fact is carried out only by one person, this person is known by the author.
  • They can be unilateral and bilateral.
  • They can be human or natural.
  • If they are human they can be voluntary or involuntary.
  • They can be legal or non-legal acts.

It must be borne in mind that it is necessary to distinguish between a legal fact and a legal act, and the clear difference is the will.

Differences between fact and legal act

The main differences between fact and legal act can be seen below:

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