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lawyer william blasser profile Reviewed by Rocket Lawyer On Call Attorney  William Blasser, Esq

Release of Liability Basics

Whether you're organizing a marathon or have a skydiving business, if there's risk involved, it's best practice to have participants sign a Release of Liability. As the owner or operator of the activity, it releases you from being held liable if someone is injured. Business owners, organizers, sponsors, or hosts of an event will want to consider having participants sign this legal document before the activities begin.

Use a Release of Liability if:

  • You are the organizer, host, sponsor, or another party conducting an activity or event and want to reduce your liability by having participants sign a Release of Liability.
  • You are the organizer, host, sponsor, or another party conducting an activity or event and are interested in obtaining temporary authority to seek medical emergency treatment for your patrons, including minors.

Other names for a Release of Liability:

Liability Waiver, Waiver of Liability, Waiver, Release of Liability Form, Release Forms (liability, not claims)

What a Release of Liability covers:

More often than not, a Release of Liability form is used when a patron of a business or event will be doing something physical. This could be anything from moving boxes to rock climbing. When someone signs a Release of Liability, they are releasing the business from potential harm that may occur as a result of normal, typical activity.

For example, if someone at a rock climbing gym sprains a wrist going up the wall, that would likely be covered. The person with this injury, having signed a release, would not be able to hold the business accountable for their wrist.

What a Release of Liability doesn't cover:

There are some injuries that a Release of Liability waiver won't help your business with, however. If the injury occurred because you or your business were negligent, you could be on the hook.

Let's go back to that rock climbing gym example. We know that a patron who signed a release wouldn't be able to hold you accountable were they to suffer an injury during the normal course of rock climbing. But what if the owner of the gym didn't fix their roof and a shingle fell off and injured the same person? Then, regardless of whether a Release of Liability was signed, the business is likely liable.

Describe the dangers in your Release of Liability waiver:

A Release of Liability is a common business document, especially for those businesses where patrons will be engaged in any sort of physical, aerobic activity. If your business fits the bill, you'll want to describe the types of risks involved in the activity as specifically as possible. This serves a dual purpose. First, it insulates you from liability in the event that a patron is injured in the ways you laid out. Second, it spells out to the signer exactly what risks they're undertaking.

How to use a Release of Liability form:

If your business uses needs a Release of Liability, chances are you'll be using several copies. Thankfully, unless the circumstances around your business change, you'll likely only need to draft a single Release of Liability form and have each individual patron sign their own. Which is to say, you'll have many forms, but each would likely be the same, just signed by different customers.

Our Release of Liability form allows you to have patrons sign online and all those forms will be saved in your Rocket Lawyer account. This prevents you from losing hard copies in the unfortunate event that you need them.

If it better suits your needs, our Release of Liability waiver form is printable. You can simply print copies and have customers sign before they participate in the activity in question.

Other documents for you and your business:

If you're using a Release of Liability, chances are you might need one of the following:

If you have any questions about what's right for you and your business, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review.

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Learn more about Release of Liability

lawyer william blasser profile Reviewed by Rocket Lawyer On Call Attorney  William Blasser, Esq

Release of Liability Basics

Whether you're organizing a marathon or have a skydiving business, if there's risk involved, it's best practice to have participants sign a Release of Liability. As the owner or operator of the activity, it releases you from being held liable if someone is injured. Business owners, organizers, sponsors, or hosts of an event will want to consider having participants sign this legal document before the activities begin.

Use a Release of Liability if:

Other names for a Release of Liability:

Liability Waiver, Waiver of Liability, Waiver, Release of Liability Form, Release Forms (liability, not claims)

What a Release of Liability covers:

More often than not, a Release of Liability form is used when a patron of a business or event will be doing something physical. This could be anything from moving boxes to rock climbing. When someone signs a Release of Liability, they are releasing the business from potential harm that may occur as a result of normal, typical activity.

For example, if someone at a rock climbing gym sprains a wrist going up the wall, that would likely be covered. The person with this injury, having signed a release, would not be able to hold the business accountable for their wrist.

What a Release of Liability doesn't cover:

There are some injuries that a Release of Liability waiver won't help your business with, however. If the injury occurred because you or your business were negligent, you could be on the hook.

Let's go back to that rock climbing gym example. We know that a patron who signed a release wouldn't be able to hold you accountable were they to suffer an injury during the normal course of rock climbing. But what if the owner of the gym didn't fix their roof and a shingle fell off and injured the same person? Then, regardless of whether a Release of Liability was signed, the business is likely liable.

Describe the dangers in your Release of Liability waiver:

A Release of Liability is a common business document, especially for those businesses where patrons will be engaged in any sort of physical, aerobic activity. If your business fits the bill, you'll want to describe the types of risks involved in the activity as specifically as possible. This serves a dual purpose. First, it insulates you from liability in the event that a patron is injured in the ways you laid out. Second, it spells out to the signer exactly what risks they're undertaking.

How to use a Release of Liability form:

If your business uses needs a Release of Liability, chances are you'll be using several copies. Thankfully, unless the circumstances around your business change, you'll likely only need to draft a single Release of Liability form and have each individual patron sign their own. Which is to say, you'll have many forms, but each would likely be the same, just signed by different customers.

Our Release of Liability form allows you to have patrons sign online and all those forms will be saved in your Rocket Lawyer account. This prevents you from losing hard copies in the unfortunate event that you need them.

If it better suits your needs, our Release of Liability waiver form is printable. You can simply print copies and have customers sign before they participate in the activity in question.

Other documents for you and your business:

If you're using a Release of Liability, chances are you might need one of the following:

If you have any questions about what's right for you and your business, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review.

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