Online Releases And Clickwrap
Private businesses and government agencies dealing with mass releases have also automated the process by offering the documents online. The California DMV has created a release of liability that can be signed and submitted via an online form.
When a registered vehicle owner sells that vehicle to another party, the state requires this Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability. The document notifies the Cal DMV that the seller is no longer responsible for any traffic violations or criminal actions committed by the driver/owner of the vehicle. The form requires the old and new owners names and addresses, the license plate number, the last five digits of the vehicle identification number, and the odometer reading. With a click, the form is then uploaded and officially submitted.
Ironclad has created , a process where contracts embedded into websites and mobile apps can be signed with a click, saving time on both sides. This function is well-suited for copyright releases, for example, when a creator allows the conditional use of a photograph or logo via a download. The Clickwrap method effectively manages online agreements and spares both parties the trouble and uncertainty of transmitting contracts via email.
The Web: Waivers In Browsewrap & Clickthru Agreements
A browsewrap agreement and a clickthru agreement are names used to describe two different ways of setting up online contracts.
A browsewrap agreement describes the situation where TOU or TOS can be viewed on a linked page but the user of the website is not required to click a button to acknowledge that he or she is accepting those terms and conditions. It is unclear whether TOU/TOS that are presented in the form of a browsewrap agreement are legally enforceable as there can be questions as to whether the user had actual or constructive notice of the TOU/TOS . Simply including a link at the bottom of the home page may not be sufficient to establish constructive notice of the TOU/TOS.
No Responsibility For Non
All products or services come with some degree of risk, but if your business sells a product or service that carries obvious risk of physical harm to your consumers, then you should definitely use a no responsibility disclaimer.
This type of disclaimer is commonly seen as an “assumption of risk” statement.
Situations where you want to use physical harm liability language in your no responsibility disclaimer include whenever you:
- Sell any kind of edible product or product that people physically use
- Teach people how to exercise or use certain equipment
- Sell adventure services or products
Greystone Programs’ Voluntary Skydiving Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk form includes a section about assumption of risk where an individual agrees to assume all risk while participating:
Athletic Greens’ Terms and Conditions includes a Limitation of Liability disclaimer that informs users that it is not to be held responsible for any loss or damages that result from accessing its website or purchasing products from its website:
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No Control Over Or Responsibility For Third Party Links
If your website uses third party links then you should let users know that you do not necessarily agree with or accept responsibility for the content that any third party links may contain, and that it doesn’t reflect your own views or positions.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs offers a Links Disclaimer. It addresses links to other sites and notes that the department has no control over and isn’t responsible for any information or content posted. It also notes that it doesn’t endorse, promote or otherwise recommend any products or statements taken by the linked site:
What Rights Are Given Up In A Liability Waiver
Not responsible for accidents waivers typically cover activities that carry a risk of injury. Such activities include recreational sports, horseback riding, skydiving, surfing, kayaking, hiking, and many more. Providers of these activities want participants to know that accidents happen. A liability waiver says that if a participant is injured in an accident related to the activity, the participant is responsible for all costs and damages related to the accident. In most situations, a waiver protects providers even when their negligent actions cause injuries.
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Do Warning Signs Protect Property Owners From Liability
April 20, 2018 by Michael Waks
Victims who are hurt on someones property have several hurdles to clear before they can recover damages for their injuries. Property owners will assert many defenses to avoid responsibility for causing the accident. One defense is the presence of a Not Responsible for Accidents or Injuries sign.
Limiting Your Responsibility For Third Parties
This is especially important if your business displays advertising, using outside vendors, or has a website or social media page that is open to public comment. For instance, if you run a wedding planning business, a disclaimer should read that you cannot be held responsible for the failure of contractors in performing their duties.
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What Makes A Not Responsible For Accidents Or Injuries Sign Effective
Warning signs can prevent accidents. They can also shift liability from a property owner to a visitor on the premises. To accomplish one or both of these goals, a disclaimer must be effective.
I have represented many victims who recovered damages because of ineffective warning signs. An effective warning sign has these qualities:
Another consideration in deciding whether a sign is effective is whether the sign is required. Local or state ordinances, codes, and rules may require signs in certain places. For example, the California Building Code requires public pools to post signs. The Code specifies what the signs must say and the size of the letters on the signs. The Code also dictates where property owners must place pool signs.
If a sign at a public pool does not meet the minimum requirements of the California Building Code, the sign is ineffective. If someone is hurt at a swimming pool with signs in the wrong place or of a smaller size than required, the pool owner is liable for injuries related to the warnings on the signs.
Are No Responsibility Disclaimers Legally Required
While no responsibility disclaimers are not legally required, it’s still a good idea to include them as a part of your business’s legal protection plan.
For example, let’s say someone suffered an injury while using one of your products and then took you to court. You could use the existence of your no responsibility disclaimer as evidence showing that you took precautionary steps to notify your consumers that your business was not liable for any potential negative consequences of using your product.
Maintaining a no responsibility disclaimer on your website or app can also help to dissuade users from taking legal action against you. A no responsibility disclaimer informs users that they should agree to accept personal responsibility for their results when they use your product or service.
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Exceptions To The Waiver
A release of liability will not protect a releasee in all situations. State law governs how to structure these contracts and what they can cover. For example, in case of a deliberate act causing an injury, the law will not allow a business owner to claim a release waives any and all responsibility. Nor would gross negligence, as the law defines it, shield that owner from a lawsuit. Gym owners, skydivers, and hot air balloonists must maintain equipment, and anyone offering hazardous activities must have the property safety equipment and follow procedures.
Nor do state laws allow employers to demand releases from their employees or escape a basic duty to ensure workplace safety. In the world of employment, workers compensation law generally guarantees benefits to injured workers and shields employers from liability claims.
Should I Sign A Liability Waiver
We cant advise people whether or not to sign a liability waiver and assumption of the risk contract in California. It is up to each potential participant to decide whether an activity is worth the risk of not being able to sue in the event of an injury.
We can, however, recommend certain precautions before making a decision or after deciding to sign one:
1. Ask to examine the premises and equipment before you sign. How the premises and equipment look can often tell you how on top of safety employees are. If the property does not seem well-maintained, consider taking your business elsewhere.
2. Do an internet search for lawsuits and safety violations. People who have had bad experiences often post on review sites such as Google or Yelp. Searching for the name of the business along with key terms such as safety, lawsuit, injury and/or death can help you decide if a waiver seems overreaching.
3. Obey the business safety rules. Safety rules sometimes seem too long to read or too burdensome to follow. But they are there for your protection. And failing to obey the rules could be an excuse to deny an injury claim or to hold you partially responsible under Californias comparative fault law.
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The Reason For Releases
- Hot air ballooning
- Target shooting
In a business offering such activities, a business owner or his clientele will experience mishaps, some involving injury. A release is meant to cover this risk and lessen any claims or monetary damages for the owner. For many in the business of offering risky activities, the release of liability is necessary for doing business. The liability insurance carrier may also require it.
Not all risky businesses need to have their customers sign releases. Anyone entering a casino to play blackjack or the slots, for example, understands theres a certain financial risk involved. In most instances, losing at the gaming tables would not give rise to a lawsuit.
Certain businesses cant ask for releases as a practical matter. Grocery stores may have the occasional slippery floor, but they dont have the time or resources to ask every shopper to sign a release of claims related to a fall. For that reason, grocery stores and other businesses are usually quick to clean up spills, put up wet floor pylons, have customers fill out incident reports in case of a fall, and follow up on any medical treatment.
The law also will deny claims of liability in circumstances where a normal and rational person would be aware of mild risks. Roller coasters, passenger ferries, national parks, sun-splashed beaches, and skyscraper observation decks all contain an element of riskwell understood by those who use them.
When Should You Use A Release Of Liability Form
Think about activities, products, or services that could harm participants. These include any physically taxing or potentially dangerous activity, such as a sports game or traveling as well as any product or service not yet officially approved, be it a new cheese spread or an experimental airplane. If necessary, work with a consultant who specializes in determining risk. This can be very beneficial in helping you determine how to use this agreement.
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Who Needs A No
There are many situations in which a no-responsibility disclaimer is helpful. Any business, from marketers to bloggers to online merchants, could use a liability disclaimer in one form or another.
However, certain industries are particularly vulnerable to litigation, and in those situations, a disclaimer is even more crucial. These are usually businesses for which outdated or incorrect information can cause significant financial or emotional distress, or products can potentially cause substantial bodily harm.
Release Of Liability Form When Selling A Car
Depending on your state, you may need a waiver of liability when selling your car. When you sell your vehicle 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 days after selling your car.
To ensure their liability is waived, residents of California who sell their car must 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.
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How To Write A No
When youre writing a no-responsibility disclaimer, one crucial thing to remember is how comprehensive it needs to be. In other words, carefully identify any tangible or intangible goods or services that a customer could argue caused damages and include those in your statement.
Your liability disclaimer will be most effective if it:
- Gets placed clearly and obviously on the page so that site visitors can find it easily
- Uses simple, straightforward language that will be easy for everyday users to comprehend
- Explains that your business is not responsible for any damages incurred from the use of your products or services
When considering the placement of your disclaimer, remember that it will be effective only if the user can actually find it. For that reason, disclaimers are frequently placed in a sites footer or immediately after content or included within the terms of service.
Lastly, you should avoid using a generic or vague disclaimer, which would unlikely cover the points relevant to your business. The wording of your no-responsibility disclaimer needs to be unique to your situation.
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Releasor And Releasee Details
a) Provide the name of the state where the event in question will take place.
b) Provide the date on which this agreement will take effect.
c) Name the person attending/participating in the event . This is the person releasing the owner or event organizer from liability by promising not to sue or take legal action. And name the person who is at risk of being sued , such as an owner or organizer of an event.
d) Describe the event both Releasor and Releasee are waiving future rights to sue each other for.
The Difference Between Ordinary Negligence And Gross Negligence
California law defines negligence as the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others.3
Gross negligence, on the other hand, is generally defined as:
- The lack of any care, or
- An extreme departure from what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation to prevent harm to oneself or to others.4
Example: During a routine maintenance check at a California fitness center, a gym employee does not notice that a bolt on a piece of equipment is loose. This is most likely ordinary negligence. But if the employee didnt bother to conduct a scheduled inspection at all, a jury might decide that the failure was gross negligence due to lack of any care.
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What Should Be Included In A Release Of Liability Form
A simple release of liability form should generally address the following basics:
- Who promises not to pursue any legal action against another party
- What amount of money or action 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: