What is the purpose of a waiver?

Each event activity has its risks. As a business, you will need to have your participants sign a liability form, also known as a waiver.  A release form relieves you the liability in an event that one of the participants is injured during an event.

A waiver explained

A release form or a waiver is simply a legal document containing an agreement between two parties.   The first party is the releasor (person promising not to sue) and the releasee (the party that is reliable). When the form is signed, the releasor accepts that they understand the risks involved and promises not to sue the releasee for any damages caused.

A waiver is an essential document that informs participants of the risks involved in certain activities and also protects you from liability. In some cases, you may limit your liability as a business by asking participants to sign a hold- harmless agreement. This form simply lets the two parties settle matters out of court.

Components of a waiver form

Each liability form should contain the following:

  • A signature of the releaser( the party that agrees not to press charges against the event or activity organizers)
  • The signature of the releasee ( the event host)
  • Particulars about the event: Each waiver form should briefly describe the event that is to take place and the circumstances under which it’s being held.
  • Date: A waiver form should include the date in which the agreement will be effective.
  • Possible offers: The compensation to be offered in case of any damages must be clearly indicated so as to avoid further disagreements

Waiver rules

Here are some of the waiver rules that you should know of:

  • Event participants under the age of 18 should not sign waiver forms, instead of the guardian or parent signs on their behalf.
  • Participants that do not sign the release form are not allowed to participate in an event
  • Waivers should be in a separate document and be written in bigger fonts for easy reading and signing
  • Waiver forms should be stored for about 3 years past the event date. Waiver apps such as OnSpot Social lets your participants sign electronically, you will not have to worry about storing hard copies of these documents. With the app, all you need to do is transfer the data to a CRM of your choice.

When to use a waiver

Waivers should be used when:

  • Participants engage in physical activities such as races that are likely to lead to injuries.
  • You have minor participants in your events
  • Participants are away from their usual location
  • Participants are using tools such as projectors and speakers

Why should you use a waiver?

As a business owner, the last thing you want is being dragged to court for issues that you would have rather settled out of court.  Here is why you should never overlook the purpose of a waiver in your business

  • A waiver form saves you the time you would be spending in courtrooms fighting battles instead of focusing on your businesses.
  • Court processes will demand lots of money for attorneys and damages caused.
  • Remember that court processes are not easy to handle.  You are likely not organizing an event in the future due to fear. This is definitely not good for your business.
waiver agreement
Waiver agreement

Can a court reject a waiver form?

The court of law has huge respect for waiver form unless:

1. The waiver agreement is not in line with the public policy

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Any waiver that is not in line with public interest will automatically be rendered invalid in the court of law.  What states deem to be the interest of the public, may vary from one state to another, however, a good waiver should take into considerations all essence of humanity.

2. The court finds the releasee highly negligent

Courts do not allow any party to side on the waiver in instances where they have exercised negligence that is more of intentional.  Such a waiver agreement will be considered invalid since it goes against public policy.

3. A waiver agreement is written in an ambiguous language

The court may reject a waiver form that does not bother to explain the details of activities such as dangers, location, dates and time. In most cases courts expect the waiver form to clearly explain what is being waived in bold.

4. The releasor did not know the relessee agreement

The court does not honor a waiver signed between two parties without mutual understanding. The participating party must clearly understand the risk involved before putting a signature on the document.

5. The releasor is a minor without the mental capacity to comprehend the agreement in place.

All courts will render any waiver signed by a minor invalid. This is simply because the law does not permit such a group of individuals to make decisions due to their lack of knowledge on various legal issues.

The court will rule against the part benefiting from the agreement in any of the above circumstances.  We, therefore, insist that you understand the rights in the release agreement before your business finds itself on the wrong sided of law

In conclusion…..

Waivers are a must have for any business that would love to stay out of trouble! However, this liability forms do not permit you to be careless and negligent. They are meant to protect you from the damages involved in activities that are not within your powers to prevent.

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