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5 Tips to Avoid Legal Loopholes in Your Liability Waiver Language

5 Tips to Avoid Loopholes in Your Waivers

A release of liability waiver is necessary for any business with an element of inherent risk – but how do you make sure your waiver will be legally defensible?

Not all hold harmless agreements are crafted equal, which is why your legal language for a release of liability form must be impeccable. 

Consider the case of Graciela Quiroz, et al. v. Jumpstreet8, Inc., Jumpstreet, Inc., and Jumpstreet Construction, Inc. – Mrs. Quiroz signed a waiver before participating in a trampoline park and was subsequently severely injured. The trial and subsequent appeals both sided with Jumpstreet, as Quiroz had signed away the right to sue for negligence. 

For more examples of waivers successfully protecting businesses, be sure to read: 5 Times Liability Waivers Successfully Protected Businesses Against Injury Lawsuits.

So how do you ensure your waivers and releases protect your business against injury or damage lawsuits? Read on for some advice.

Five tips to ensure your liability waiver language is enforceable

1. Important components of a liability waiver to include

Outline of the Inherent Risks

If you’re going to ask your guests to waive their right to sue, you’ll have to fully outline all of the inherent risks involved in participating in the activity. Failing to mention every possible type of injury or distress that can be caused by the activity leaves your waiver form open to being shot down. 

Assumption of Risk

Once you’ve outlined all of the risks, your waiver of liability needs a clause stating that the participant understands the risks and agrees to voluntarily waive the right to sue over acts of ordinary negligence.

Release of Liability Clause

This clause outlines that your business doesn’t carry any responsibilities in the event of harm, subject to your terms and conditions. Legally this is one of the most critical clauses in your waiver to get right and must be written clearly. Hence, the participant agrees to release you of liability without any ambiguity.

Indemnity Clause

An indemnity clause, also known as an indemnification clause, is a standard waiver clause that states that one party won’t hold the other liable for damages, losses, or costs associated with incurred legal issues. These potential costs are typically the loss, damages, or additional legal fees that would arise from a lawsuit for liability waivers.

2. Keep it simple

Your liability waiver verbiage can quickly turn into indecipherable legal mumbo jumbo for the average reader. If you create a waiver that cannot be easily understood or try to bury important clauses in other documents such that they’re not apparent to the participant, a court of law might throw out your waiver.

It’s essential to make sure you make your waiver easy to read (no tiny text) and use as much ordinary language as possible while still including the vital legalese.

3. Make it a standalone document

A big part of making your waiver simple and easy to interpret is making it a standalone document. Many businesses have tried to hide their waiver clauses inside other documents like membership agreements or registration forms, leading to a lawsuit horror story. Make sure your clients are always aware of what they are signing.

4. Guidelines for digital signatures

More and more organizations conduct business over the web and going paperless. Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures or digital signatures, become the new norm for legal agreements. Most countries around the world now have laws in place to accept electronic signatures.

WaiverForever employs the seven different criteria required for a digital signature to be legally defensible.

5. Look into state law and hire a lawyer

Last but not least, you should seek legal advice when crafting your waiver. While all of the above points are key to crafting a successful waiver, you need the keen eye of a lawyer working within your State to make sure the release is compliant will all local laws. 

Use Best Practices to Ensure Your Liability Waiver is Enforceable

Without an enforceable waiver, you leave your business vulnerable to lawsuits and personal injury claims. If you’re unsure about the legality of your waivers or worry that they might be out of date, take some time to review them. 

After you’re sure that your waiver works for your business, make signing liability waivers easy for your staff with WaiverForever. Our service quickly saves all the waivers to your secure account, where you can easily access them at any time. 
WaiverForever is an easy way to sign and store liability waivers and offers lots of resources for all your waiver needs. To learn more about our features, click here.

Not all hold harmless agreements are crafted equal, which is why your legal language for a release of liability form must be impeccable. 

Consider the case of Graciela Quiroz, et al. v. Jumpstreet8, Inc., Jumpstreet, Inc., and Jumpstreet Construction, Inc. – Mrs. Quiroz signed a waiver before participating in a trampoline park and was subsequently severely injured. The trial and subsequent appeals both sided with Jumpstreet, as Quiroz had signed away the right to sue for negligence. 

For more examples of waivers successfully protecting businesses, be sure to read: 5 Times Liability Waivers Successfully Protected Businesses Against Injury Lawsuits.

So how do you ensure your waivers and releases protect your business against injury or damage lawsuits? Read on for some advice.

Five tips to ensure your liability waiver language is enforceable

1. Important components of a liability waiver to include

Outline of the Inherent Risks

If you’re going to ask your guests to waive their right to sue, you’ll have to fully outline all of the inherent risks involved in participating in the activity. Failing to mention every possible type of injury or distress that can be caused by the activity leaves your waiver form open to being shot down. 

Assumption of Risk

Once you’ve outlined all of the risks, your waiver of liability needs a clause stating that the participant understands the risks and agrees to voluntarily waive the right to sue over acts of ordinary negligence.

Release of Liability Clause

This clause outlines that your business doesn’t carry any responsibilities in the event of harm, subject to your terms and conditions. Legally this is one of the most critical clauses in your waiver to get right and must be written clearly. Hence, the participant agrees to release you of liability without any ambiguity.

Indemnity Clause

An indemnity clause, also known as an indemnification clause, is a standard waiver clause that states that one party won’t hold the other liable for damages, losses, or costs associated with incurred legal issues. These potential costs are typically the loss, damages, or additional legal fees that would arise from a lawsuit for liability waivers.

2. Keep it simple

Your liability waiver verbiage can quickly turn into indecipherable legal mumbo jumbo for the average reader. If you create a waiver that cannot be easily understood or try to bury important clauses in other documents such that they’re not apparent to the participant, a court of law might throw out your waiver.

It’s essential to make sure you make your waiver easy to read (no tiny text) and use as much ordinary language as possible while still including the vital legalese.

3. Make it a standalone document

A big part of making your waiver simple and easy to interpret is making it a standalone document. Many businesses have tried to hide their waiver clauses inside other documents like membership agreements or registration forms, leading to a lawsuit horror story. Make sure your clients are always aware of what they are signing.

4. Guidelines for digital signatures

More and more organizations conduct business over the web and going paperless. Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures or digital signatures, become the new norm for legal agreements. Most countries around the world now have laws in place to accept electronic signatures.

WaiverForever employs the seven different criteria required for a digital signature to be legally defensible.

5. Look into state law and hire a lawyer

Last but not least, you should seek legal advice when crafting your waiver. While all of the above points are key to crafting a successful waiver, you need the keen eye of a lawyer working within your State to make sure the release is compliant will all local laws. 

Use Best Practices to Ensure Your Liability Waiver is Enforceable

Without an enforceable waiver, you leave your business vulnerable to lawsuits and personal injury claims. If you’re unsure about the legality of your waivers or worry that they might be out of date, take some time to review them. 

After you’re sure that your waiver works for your business, make signing liability waivers easy for your staff with WaiverForever. Our service quickly saves all the waivers to your secure account, where you can easily access them at any time. 
WaiverForever is an easy way to sign and store liability waivers and offers lots of resources for all your waiver needs. To learn more about our features, click here.