Release of Liability Cost

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What does a release of liability cost? If you run a business that carries any potential risk to clients, you may be asking this question. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about releases of liability and why they are important.

What is a Release of Liability?

A release of liability, sometimes called a hold harmless agreement, exculpatory clause, waiver agreement, or liability waiver, is a legal agreement between two parties in which one party waives the right to hold another party responsible for any potential damages or injuries involved with a certain activity or service.

When one party (the releasor) signs the release of liability, they acknowledge that they understand the risks associated with an activity or service and will not sue the other party (the releasee) should any damages or injury occur.

For example, suppose you decide to go white water rafting while on vacation. In that case, the rafting company will require you to sign a release of liability.

The release will include language that says you understand the risks associated with white water rafting. In addition, you agree to release the rafting company from any legal responsibility if you are hurt while rafting.

Release of liability contracts are difficult to enforce and are often not favored in court. For this reason, an experienced lawyer must draft the release correctly.

A lawyer will know what language and terms and conditions must be included in the release, how to ensure the release is unambiguous, and give you the best chance of the release being honored in court if you are ever involved in a lawsuit.

The cost of hiring a lawyer to draft a release of liability will vary based on your location, the lawyer’s experience level, and the release's length and complexity.

Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a project involving a release of liability is $340.71.

What’s Included in Release of Liability?

A release of liability is either formatted as a stand-alone document or as a contract clause within a more significant contract.

The release's content should be specific and customized to the activity or services for which it is being signed. Even though releases of liability must be specific, they should all include the following key information:

  • Party information. The name and contact information of the business requesting the release of liability (releasee) and the name and contact information of the person agreeing to release liability (releasor).
  • Definition of terms. Defines words within the contract, so both parties understand the meanings of all legal terms used. This avoids ambiguity or different interpretations of the contract.
  • Description of risks. Informs the releasor of the risks related to the activity or services provided. This section should be detailed; although it is impossible to name all potential risks, the major risks should be highlighted.
  • Statement of release. There needs to be a clear statement of release. For example: “The undersigned hereby assumes all risk of injury or harm as a result of the activities specified above and agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and forever discharge the releasee from all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, and causes of action due to death, injury, loss, or damage to the undersigned."
  • Signatures. To be legally enforceable, the release of liability needs to be signed by both parties.

Are Releases of Liability Legally Enforceable?

Although many businesses and service providers require that customers sign a release of liability, this waiver is only guaranteed to be enforceable in some situations or cases.

The enforceability of your release will depend on your state’s laws surrounding liability releases, the contract itself, and the level of negligence that caused the damages or injury.

Release of Liability Projects

Release of Liability Drafting

Releases of liability are often overruled in court because the release needs to be drafted correctly and include ambiguous information or provide sufficient details. To avoid this mistake, those who need release of liability contracts often hire an attorney to draft the document.

An experienced lawyer will know the liability laws in your state and be able to create a release of liability that is clear, easy to read, and customized to your professional needs.

Release of Liability Review

It is not recommended to attempt to draft your release of liability. These documents are often ruled unenforceable, and without the legal knowledge of an experienced attorney, there is a good chance that a release of liability will not provide the protection you need.

Suppose you choose to use a template or begin drafting a release of liability on your own. In that case, it is essential that you hire a lawyer to review the contract before putting it to use with customers.

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Release of Liability Drafting Cost

If you hire a lawyer to draft a release of liability, you will incur legal fees. A lawyer will charge for all their time spent on your legal task. Fees can include:

  • Consultations
  • Meetings
  • Research
  • Time spent drafting the contract
  • Any necessary revisions

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that release of liability drafting costs $321.25 across all states and industries.

Release of Liability Review Cost

Hiring a lawyer for document review will also come with legal fees. Nevertheless, review services are vital to ensure that your contract is free from mistakes and legally binding.

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average release of liability review costs $375.00 across all states and industries.

How Do Lawyers Charge for Releases of Liability?

Hourly Rates for Releases of Liability

Hourly rate fee structures are common for lawyers to bill their clients. Under an hourly rate fee agreement, the lawyer will keep track of their time working on the legal project and then bill the client for the total number of hours after the case or task.

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average hourly rate for a release of liability lawyer ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.

Flat Fee Rates for Releases of Liability

Flat fee rate structures are becoming more common for a lawyer to use when hired for a specific project, like drafting or reviewing release of liability contracts. Under this fee agreement, the attorney provides their client with a flat fee quote for legal services.

The client must usually pay this fee upfront and will not incur additional fees. The client must understand what services are included in the flat fee rate. Additional projects, tasks, or meetings could incur more legal fees.

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average flat fee rate for a release of liability is $340.71.

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