Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Accidental; inevitable.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Accidental; undesigned; adventitious. Resulting from unavoidable physical causes.
    —Fortuitous collision. In maritime law. The accidental running foul of vessels. Peters v. Warren Ins. Co., 14 Pet. 112, 10 L. Ed. 371.
    —Fortuitous event. In the civil law. That which happens by a cause which cannot be resisted. An unforeseen occurrence, not caused by either of the parties, nor such as they could prevent. In French it is called "cas for-tut." Civ. Code La. art. 3556, no. 15. There is a difference between a fortuitous event, or inevitable accident, and irresistible force. By the former, commonly called the "act of God," is meant any accident produced by physical causes which are irresistible; such as a loss by 'lightning or storms, by the perils of the seas, by inundations and earthquakes, or by sudden death or illness. By the latter is meant such an interposition of human agency as is, from its nature and power, absolutely uncontrollable. Of this nature are losses occasioned by the inroads of a hostile army, or by public enemies. Story, Bailm. § 25.