Liability Waivers

Published 8/12/13

The first steps in reducing your liability are to make sure that you regularly inspect your property, make repairs as needed, post warnings where necessary, and take care to reduce or remove any dangerous conditions. Consider making some rules that will help encourage safety – then be sure you enforce them. Be sure to carry liability insurance for your business as well.

In addition to these preventive measures, liability waivers are a useful tool for landowners who charge a fee for access to their land, either for hunting, fishing, or some other outdoor recreation.

According to Michael Massey, lawyer with Massey, Higginbotham, Vise, and Phillips, PA, waivers must be based on “offer and acceptance between two parties in equal bargaining position.” This means that the person signing the waiver must have enough time to consider the conditions before signing it.

Mike recommends that you provide the waiver to your customers in advance of the trip or activity so that they have the opportunity to read it, consider it, and then sign it. If you can, avoid giving a waiver to someone right before they are undertaking the recreational activity. However, if that is your only opportunity to have them sign a waiver, a quickly signed waiver is better than none at all.

See what Mike says about liability waivers by watching the video below:

Sample Waiver

View this sample liability waiver: http://naturalresources.msstate.edu/business/liability-release-form.pdf. Be sure to have your waiver be specific to your business, property, and needs. Your waiver should be carefully drafted to suit your specific situation and to ensure it is legal.

Learn more about liability issues for outdoor recreation businesses.