What is a Liability Waiver? How Do I Write One For My Business?

If you own a business providing recreation services to individuals ranging from white water rafting to mountain climbing to fishing and hunting, chances are you use a liability waiver. Learn more with Attorney Nate Gilbert about how to make sure your waiver is up to the task of helping avoid liability for your business.

A very brief definition of a liability waiver is: A release of liability form is a document signed by individuals before engaging in a certain activity that limits the liability of the providers of that activity if the individual is hurt during the activity. 

Liability Waivers are an absolute must for every business in the recreation industry.  Whether you are running a fly fishing instruction school, waterfowl hunting outfitter, white water rafting guide, or dude ranch owner, your guests and clients should be signing liability waivers before engaging in any kind of activity with your business.  However, liability waivers are not necessarily the easiest documents to employ in your business strategy—Simply downloading the first free form on the internet or borrowing one from a friend’s business will not protect your business from liability in the event a client or guest is injured.  Liability waivers must be specifically tailored to your individual business and activity.

Courts in Colorado place a great deal of weight on the amount of notice of the actual dangers of the activity that are present in your liability waiver.  If your release form is a generic, one page document that fails to outline the fact that guests of your white water rafting guide service will encounter dangerous rapids that should only be handled by expert rafters, the Court will likely not limit the liability of you and your business when a novice rafter is injured on the trip.  Similarly, for hunting outfitters, if your waiver does not specify the altitude, expected terrain, and physical ability requirements, an injured client because of a danger they had no notice of could be costly.

Working with an attorney to safeguard your business with a release of liability is absolutely imperative.  Because of the laws and rules regarding liability waivers, it is just not enough to download a generic form from the internet and hope that it never comes up.  Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert has crafted custom liability waivers for some of the nation’s premier outfitters and recreation providers, and can help your business stay protected with a flat fee, specifically tailored liability waiver.  For more information, click here.