Liability Waiver

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 3,331 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Liability Waiver?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

If your products or services carry risk, then your company should use liability waivers as necessary. However, liability waivers must contain specific elements for them to remain enforceable.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a Liability Waiver?

Liability waivers, also known as waivers of liability, release forms, and hold harmless agreements , are legally binding documents. A participant, such as a customer or an employee, accepts risk and agrees to waive the company’s liability for damages associated with inherent dangers. The limitation of liability insulates the company from civil damages if the participant suffers from losses or injuries.

Why Use a Liability Waiver?

The most significant reason to use a liability waiver is that businesses can protect themselves from damages claims and lawsuits associated with inherently risky activities. This level of protection can shield your profitability and company reputation as well as avoid unnecessary legal disputes.

For example , if you run an driving range where people come to hit golf balls, there is inherent risk in consumers participating in this activity. They may slip and fall on one of your mats, another customer may get hit by a stray golf ball, or a customer could walk into the backswing of another customer. You will want to have guests sign a liability waiver while paritipcating to make sure you are protected should anything go wrong.

Here is wikipedia's definition of a liability waiver.

Key Parts of a Liability Waiver

The most important part of a liability waiver is that you use obvious language. If your company is asking people to waive their rights, it doesn’t look favorable in court if the terms are buried inside of other provisions and hard to find or identify. The key to enforceability in a legal document is following local contract rules and using clear, concise language.

Key parts of a liability waiver include:

Part 1. Inherent Risks

Inherent risks are those that we take when engaging in specific activities. Bungee jumping or operating a motor vehicle are examples of such activities. Acts of gross negligence don’t preclude you from civil claims. Make sure the risk is clearly outlined in the waiver.

Part 2. Assumption of Risk

The assumption of risk clause indicates that the participating party understands the associated dangers of using your products or services. This section reduces the chance of a participant claiming that they weren’t aware of the risks.

Part 3. Release Clause

Release clauses state that your company doesn’t carry the liability burden arising from harmful events. You should concentrate on making this section as clear and straightforward as possible so that the other party understands what rights they are giving up explicitly.

Learn more about release clauses here.

Part 4. Indemnification

Indemnification clauses are acknowledgments made by participants. They agree to pay your legal costs and attorneys’ fees if their actions result in someone filing a lawsuit against you. This clause is an essential component to deterring lawsuits from third parties.

Learn more about indemnification clauses here.

Part 5. Insurance

The insurance clause of your liability waiver should clearly state that your liability insurance policy doesn’t cover participant damages. This statement reinforces the conspicuous language aspect of a liability waiver.

Learn more about insurance clauses here.

Part 6. Choice of Law

Choice-of-law clauses assign the venue and forum laws by which the legal liability waiver recognizes. Since parties may live in separate geographic areas, this section helps you clear up any confusion regarding applicable rules and regulations.

Learn more about the choice of law clause here.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Jane C.

93 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

47 projects on CC
View Profile

Briana C.

51 projects on CC
View Profile

Mathew K.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Examples of When to Use a Liability Waiver

Are you still unsure of how liability waivers can help your company? Real-world examples can help you understand when to use a liability waiver.

Check out the five examples below:

Example 1. Ski Resorts

Skiing is an activity that carries a known risk of injury, which requires skiers to possess sound judgment, physical strength, and outdoor experience. Ski resorts can use liability waivers to prevent claims related to skier injuries. Some even print a disclaimer directly on the lift pass.

Example 2. Contractors

Contractor relationships are perfect for liability waivers. A waiver can preclude you from liability claims that occur at your facilities. The contractor or their employer is responsible for covering their claims unless you acted with negligence.

Example 3. Insurance Claims

Once customers accept an insurance settlement, insurance companies want reassurance that the claim is settled in full. Liability waivers in release forms help them achieve this objective.

Example 4. Amusement Parks

Amusement parks are inherently dangerous places. Operators are wise to incorporate a liability waiver into their ticket sales process. Doing so will protect you from unpreventable damages or harm.

Example 5. Massage Therapists

Massage therapy generally provides natural health benefits. However, an unknown condition or prior injury could result in new or worsening injuries. Massage therapists should protect themselves from claims by asking customers to sign liability waivers.

Example 6. Tourism Companies

The act of traveling by car, bus, train, or plane is dangerous in and of itself. Tourism companies not only utilize these modes of transportation, but they also offer extraneous activities that carry an inherent risk. Liability waivers ensure that you can keep the fun going as long as you are doing your part to keep everyone safe.

ContractsCounsel Liability Waiver Image

Image via Pexels by PhotoMIX

Risks of Not Using a Liability Waiver

You risk subjecting your business or yourself to unwanted or unnecessary dispute processes when you do not use a liability waiver. While there may be some advance fees associated with developing, disseminating, and signing a liability waiver, you are protecting your business from legal disputes in the short and long term by doing so.

While a liability waiver provides some protection, it does not offer total protection, and it shifts the burden of proof to the client. Additionally, the liability waiver alerts the signee that they are about to embark on a potentially dangerous endeavor. This reason is why you should include language in your liability waiver that covers all possible types of legal harm.

Do Signed Liability Waivers Hold Up in Court?

Liability waivers hold up in court if they meet specific factors. For instance, California liability waivers must be unambiguous and are required in certain transactions. In contrast, Montana may not need them in some cases.

The best way to learn about the enforceability of your liability waivers is by speak with business lawyers directly.

Can Customers Sue You Even After Signing a Liability Waiver?

A liability waiver doesn’t preclude the operator or provider from claims arising out of negligence. If the participant can prove that you were negligent in some capacity, they can generally hold you accountable for their civil damages. As such, your organization must maintain the premises and equipment used by contract parties according to the law.

How to Write a Liability Waiver

Writing a liability waiver may seem like a straightforward task. However, the provisions contained within may be subject to other federal and state laws. By having a contract drafting process in place, you can effectively reduce the chance of making legal mistakes and contractual errors.

Follow the eleven steps below when writing a liability waiver for your organization:

  • Step 1 . Identify all inherent risks associated with your products or services
  • Step 2 . Make a list of all stakeholders affected by these inherent risks
  • Step 3 . Consider associated future threats that may arise
  • Step 4 . Compile your liability insurance policies in one place
  • Step 5 . Determine which governing laws you want to apply to your waivers
  • Step 6 . Schedule an initial consultation with contract lawyers
  • Step 7 . Bring your findings and notes to your first meeting
  • Step 8 . Receive the first draft of your liability waiver
  • Step 9 . Approve the draft for finalization by your lawyer
  • Step 10 . Ask stakeholders to sign a liability waiver as needed
  • Step 11 . Retain copies of signed liability waivers and supporting evidence

In addition to writing a liability waiver with an attorney, you may also want to ask them about the contract signing procedure. Some companies ask employees to read the liability waiver out loud before permitting the customer to sign it. This practice, when performed uniformly, can strengthen their enforceability.

Here is an article on how to write a liability waiver .

Common Types of Liability Waivers

A general liability waiver will address your legal needs from an all-around standpoint. However, your business could benefit more by using a document that makes sense for your specific relationships with employees, vendors, and more. Consider the different options available to make the most informed decision possible.

There are seven types of liability waivers, including

  • Type 1 . Accident liability waiver
  • Type 2 . Activity participation waiver
  • Type 3 . Contractor liability waiver
  • Type 4 . General liability waiver
  • Type 5 . Mutual liability waiver
  • Type 6 . Personal injury waiver
  • Type 7 . Property liability waiver

Regardless of what you call your documents, they essentially all perform the same function and need personalization for your business situation. While the language may differ slightly, these documents waive the right to legal claims to avoid a lawsuit.

Getting Help With Liability Waivers

Liability waivers are central to protecting your company from liability. Contracts are only as powerful as the words they contain. A well-crafted document will accomplish this goal while reducing your legal exposure

If you need help driving a liability waiver or other release of liability, contract lawyers can help. They can assist you from the initial intake all the way to the contract signing. Most contract lawyers offer counsel as business lawyers, which means they’re well-suited to help you navigate complicated matters.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Liability Waiver Lawyers

Samantha B. on ContractsCounsel
View Samantha
Member Since:
April 15, 2021

Samantha B.

Principal and Founder
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Chicago
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, IL
Ave Maria School of Law

Samantha has focused her career on developing and implementing customized compliance programs for SEC, CFTC, and FINRA regulated organizations. She has worked with over 100 investment advisers, alternative asset managers (private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds, venture capital funds, etc.), and broker-dealers, with assets under management ranging from several hundred million to several billion dollars. Samantha has held roles such as Chief Compliance Officer and Interim Chief Compliance Officer for SEC-registered investment advisory firms, “Of Counsel” for law firms, and has worked for various securities compliance consulting firms. Samantha founded Coast to Coast Compliance to make a meaningful impact on clients’ businesses overall, by enhancing or otherwise creating an exceptional and customized compliance program and cultivating a strong culture of compliance. Coast to Coast Compliance provides proactive, comprehensive, and independent compliance solutions, focusing primarily on project-based deliverables and various ongoing compliance pain points for investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other financial services firms.

Pritesh P. on ContractsCounsel
View Pritesh
Member Since:
April 19, 2021

Pritesh P.

Chief Legal Officer
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Chicago, Illinois
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Experienced General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer

Richard G. on ContractsCounsel
View Richard
4.7 (1)
Member Since:
April 21, 2021

Richard G.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Massachusetts
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in MA
Massachusetts School of Law

Attorney Gaudet has worked in the healthcare and property management business sectors for many years. As an attorney, contract drafting, review, and negotiation has always been an area of great focus and interest. Attorney Gaudet currently works in Massachusetts real estate law, business and corporate law, and bankruptcy law.

Jonathan R. on ContractsCounsel
View Jonathan
Member Since:
November 4, 2022

Jonathan R.

Attorney-at-Law
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Lake Hiawatha, NJ
31 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ
Rutgers University School of Law—Newark

I am a graduate of Cornell University and Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and have been admitted to the state and federal bars for New Jersey, and have been engaged in the full- or part-time practice of law since my admission to the bar in 1991. My practice centers on civil litigation; wills, trusts, and estates; and ediscovery review and management. I have extensive experience in regulatory compliance in the financial services industry, as well as privacy laws in the U.S. and E.U.

Ayelet F. on ContractsCounsel
View Ayelet
5.0 (4)
Member Since:
June 8, 2021

Ayelet F.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Coral Springs, FL
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Nova Southeastern University

Ayelet G. Faerman knows what influencers mean to brands today. With experience as legal counsel for a beauty brand for over 5 years, and overseeing multiple collaborations, Ayelet has experienced the rise of influencer marketing. As the founder and managing partner of Faerman Law, PA her practice focuses on influencer relations including a specialization in contract negotiations.

Robert D. on ContractsCounsel
View Robert
Member Since:
May 12, 2021

Robert D.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Ohio
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OH
University of Akron School of Law

I am a general practice lawyer with 21 years of experience handling a wide variety of cases, both civil and criminal

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call