Release of Liability Form
Starting a business offers an opportunity to be the boss and create a company utilizing your business philosophies. You also have a chance to earn higher revenues and build a business you can pass on to your children when you retire.
Many business owners work long hours, sacrificing personal time to ensure their company thrives. Protecting your business is crucial. Today, businesses face more threats than ever before, which is why you need business insurance and should take steps to protect your company from legal issues. Using release of liability forms is one way to prevent lawsuits. Let’s look at these forms and some reasons clients may sue businesses.
What’s a liability release form?
Liability refers to legal responsibility. Companies have a legal responsibility to protect client data, provide a safe business space, and follow applicable regulations and laws. It’s reasonable for patrons to expect businesses to implement safety protocols to prevent injuries and provide the goods or services they describe. When patrons are injured or dissatisfied with the products or services they receive, they may have legal grounds to file a lawsuit.
Suppose your company offers services that could cause injuries. Perhaps you offer horseback riding lessons or backcountry camping trips. No matter how docile your horses are, they could be startled by a snake, vehicle, bear, or loud noise. A startled horse may rear up or bolt. Either action could result in a rider falling off the horse and sustaining injuries.
A liability release form is a waiver limiting your legal liability if a patron’s injured. You can opt to have each patron sign a printed or digital release of liability form to protect your business from legal action. The form provides detailed information about the customer’s scheduled activities and related risks. Forms should include space for the customer to list an emergency contact, indicate their relationship to the emergency contact, and the date of the activity. The waiver should include the name of the business and the client, a space for the client’s signature, and room for the date the client signed the form. Some forms require clients to initial specific sections of the form. One of the advantages of using online forms is that it’s easier to modify, collect, and store these documents.
Companies face legal risks.
Businesses must attract clients to generate revenue. Whether your company sells materials and supplies to manufacturers, supplies goods to retailers, provides services to consumers, or creates and sells products to customers, you need a client base. Customers have expectations, and they may sue your business if you fail to meet those expectations.
Every business collects client data when they make sales. Some businesses may have databases with client addresses and credit card numbers. Some businesses have additional personal information, such as driver’s license numbers or social security numbers. Suppose a hacker breaches your computer network and steals consumer data. A breach could lead to tens of millions in fines and other expenses. However, suppose you offer online data storage services and a client refuses to pay for cybersecurity. In those situations, a liability waiver can protect your business from legal responsibility if there’s a breach.
Maintaining safe facilities can reduce your liability. For example, putting out wet floor signs after staff mop floors demonstrates you’re trying to prevent injuries, showing you’ve taken reasonable steps to ensure safety at your facilities.
Companies can also be sued if one of their business vehicles is involved in an accident. Maintaining your vehicles and checking your employees’ driving records can reduce your liability.
Lawsuits can be costly and time-consuming. Business owners may spend dozens of hours talking to lawyers, attending settlement negotiations, or going to court. Business owners can minimize their financial risks by acquiring business liability insurance that covers their legal and settlement fees. Businesses may also use liability release forms to protect themselves from legal action.