A Release of Liability Form or Waiver of Liability Agreement is a legal document between two parties — the releasor or person promising not to sue — and the releasee or person or company who is potentially liable. By signing this waiver form, the releasor acknowledges that he or she understands the risks and claims involved and agrees to not sue the Releasee for past or future injuries or damages.
This form is alternatively used when an accident like a car wreck or property damage has already occurred. Instead of going through an expensive lawsuit, both parties agree to settle the dispute out of court.
A simple release of liability form will identify the following basic elements:
- Releasor: person who promises not to sue or take any legal action against the owner or organizer of the event or activity being attended
- Releasee: owner or organizer of the event or activity who is at risk of being sued
- Effective Date: when the agreement shall take effect
- Event: description of event, activity, or circumstances being held
- Consideration: the amount of money, promised (in)action, or something of legal value given in return for signing the document
- Governing Law: any disagreements will be resolved using the laws of one state
This form can be used to document a person’s consent to be photographed, filmed, or recorded in a public event or activity. A separate Photo Release Form can also be used.
As a reference, people call this document by other names:
- Conditional and Unconditional Waiver Form
- General Waiver
- Legal Release
- Liability Waiver Form
- Waiver of Liability Agreement
The 6 Types of Release of Liability Forms
A release or waiver is often needed either before or after an incident occurs. Organizations or people may be concerned about being taken to court by someone who accidentally gets injured while attending an event or activity they will be sponsoring. Alternatively, this form is used when an accident like a car wreck or property damage has already occurred. Instead of going through an expensive lawsuit, both parties agree to settle the dispute out of court.
Check out the 6 different types of release of liability waiver templates below, and download the one that applies to your situation.
Depending on the state you live in, you may need a waiver of liability when selling your car. When you sell your car, until the title and registration is transferred you are liable for any accidents or injuries caused by the buyer. Therefore, most states require you to notify them within a certain amount of days after selling your car.
To ensure their liability is waived, residents of California who sell their car are required to fill out a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability Form. The Department of Transportation in Idaho requires its residents to fill out a Notice of Release of Liability. Find out if your state requires a waiver form to sell your car.
Consequences of Not Using a Waiver
What happens if you don’t use this form?
Without a written waiver, everyone faces the possibility of being summoned to court or dragging out a disagreement over who owes what.
Here are just a few of the possible consequences that this form can prevent:
The Most Common Liability Situations
These are some of the most common situations in which a waiver form may be used:
|General Release||General Release|
|Mutual Release||Mutual Release|
|Car Accident||Car Accident|
|Damage to Property||Damage to Property|
|Event or Activity||Event or Activity|
|Extreme Sports Enthusiast||Extreme Sports Business|
|Personal Injury||Personal Injury|
What Should be Included?
A simple release of liability form should generally address the following basics:
- Who promises to not pursue any legal action against another party
- What amount of money or action (including being able to participate in the activity) will be given in exchange for the promise
- When the document takes effect, usually before the activity occurs
- How neither party admits they acted wrongfully by signing the Waiver
A waiver form can address incidents that have already occurred in the past or may happen in the future given the inherent riskiness of the activity.
A liability form may also include one of these additional provisions:
- Assumption of Risk: the participant understands that the activities are inherently hazardous and dangerous yet agree to assume the risk of being injured or harmed
- Insurance: the individual is responsible for their own medical, health, or life insurance
- Medical Treatment: the person will not sue even if they are further injured by any medical treatment given during an emergency at the event
- Modifications: any changes to the document must be in writing
- No Admission: signing the document does not mean either party admits wrongdoing
- Parent or Guardian Signature: a minor under the age of 18 is legally unable to sign a contract, and should have a parent or guardian co-sign the agreement (although in certain states, a parent or guardian cannot waive a minor’s legal rights to sue for negligence)
- Photographic Release: the participant agrees that images or recordings can be used in connection with the event attended
- Right to Attorney: everyone understands that they have the chance to consult with an attorney about the document and are otherwise signing it voluntarily
- Severable: the rest of the document is valid even if one part of the agreement is not
- Witness or Notary: the signature of a third person who acknowledges the form was truly signed by both parties is optional
Free Release of Liability Sample
Below you can find what a release of liability form typically looks like:
State of __________ This General Release (this “Release”) is made this __________ day of __________, __________, by and between __________, at __________, __________, __________, __________ (“Releasor”) and __________, at __________, __________, __________, __________ (“Releasee”). SIGNATURES ___________________ Signature of Releasor ___________________ Printed Name of Releasor ___________________ Signature of Releasor ___________________ Printed Name of Releasor
State of __________
This General Release (this “Release”) is made this __________ day of __________, __________, by and between __________, at __________, __________, __________, __________ (“Releasor”) and __________, at __________, __________, __________, __________ (“Releasee”).
Signature of Releasor
Printed Name of Releasor
Signature of Releasor
Printed Name of Releasor