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What is the Cause of Action?
What’s important to know about it?
In this article, I will break down the meaning of Cause of Action so you know all there is to know about it!
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Table of Contents
What Is Cause of Action
In law, cause of action refers to the factual elements that must exist for a person or company to have the right to take legal action against another.
In other words, the cause of action represents the legally defined factual elements justifying a legal action.
For example, for a person to show discrimination, the cause of action must be based on statute, precedent, or regulation.
As such, the plaintiff will need to present the predetermined factual elements required by law to demonstrate that he or she was discriminated against.
You can also consider the cause of action to refer to the legal theory based on which a plaintiff will file a lawsuit against a defendant.
For example, if you have someone seeking damages from a breach of contract, the cause of action relates to the factual elements required to establish a contractual breach.
Keep reading as I will further break down the meaning of the cause of action and tell you why it’s important.
Recommended article: What is the litigation process
Why Is Cause of Action Important
The cause of action is an important concept in law as it pertains to the validity or sufficiency of facts required to justify legal action.
If you are looking to seek damages from someone, file an injunction, or enforce legal rights, you must have the proper cause of action to do so.
Without a cause of action, you do not have any legal basis to file a complaint against someone in court.
When a person suffers damages or looks to enforce legal rights, he or she must gather all the necessary facts relating to the incident to ensure that there are enough factual elements to justify the filing of a lawsuit.
Typically, the plaintiff will serve a complaint and summons to the defendant alleging the facts pertaining to the relevant cause of action.
Once the defendant receives the complaint, it must file an answer to the complaint where the allegations are to be admitted or denied.
A person can have multiple causes of action against another in a lawsuit and demand multiple types of remedies.
Recommended article: What is litigation
Cause of Action Types
There are different types of actions that a plaintiff can file against a defendant.
The most common causes of action are:
- Contractual causes of action
- Statutory causes of action (or regulations)
- Precedent cause of action
- Tort-related causes of action
- Equity-based causes of action
Contract-based causes of action are based upon contractual rights and obligations agreed between private parties that can include individuals, businesses, governments, or other types of legal entities.
Statutory causes of action are actions that are based on statutes or regulations adopted by the legislative branch.
A cause of action can be based on common law or precedents where the courts identify certain facts to give rise to certain types of claims.
Tort claims are causes of action such as negligence, professional malpractice, fraud, invasion of privacy, and other types of tortious wrongdoings.
Equity claims are causes of action that are based on equity such as quantum meruit and unjust enrichment.
Recommended article: What are compensatory damages
Examples of Cause of Action
Let’s look at a few examples of cause of action to better understand the concept.
A person can file a lawsuit against another for discrimination based on his or her constitutional rights.
The cause of action here is based on the US Constitution.
Another example is when a lawsuit is filed by regulators against a company under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for insider trading.
In this case, the cause of action is based on a federal statute.
You can also have a cause of action based on common law
You can also have a situation where a person causes injury to another by his or her negligence.
In this case, the cause of action can be potentially based on statute or common law.
Recommended article: What are the elements of negligence
So there you have it folks!
What does the cause of action mean?
In a nutshell, a cause of action is a legal term referring to a set of facts that give rise to a legal claim.
In other words, a cause of action refers to the facts or wrongdoings that give a person or entity the right to sue another party.
For a person or company to have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit against another, there must be enough cause of action.
A cause of action can be based on the Constitution, federal law, state law, regulations, case laws, contract-based, tort law, equitable claims, or legal theories based on which a claim can be filed.
Now that you know what “cause of action” means and why it’s important, good luck with your research!
I hope you enjoyed this article on the Cause of Action! Be sure to check out more articles on my blog. Enjoy!
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