Why You Need a Liability Waiver for Your Event

Group of business people toasting with champagne

Whether you organize events or just attend them regularly, you’ll know there are a lot of contributing factors to any well-run occasion. From the food to the venue, entertainment, and guest list, all variables need to line up perfectly to ensure a fun, enjoyable, and memorable experience. This is particularly true when organizing a holiday party for a workplace or other private group.  

Unfortunately, it takes a lot less work for things to go wrong. Poor food quality, the wrong choice of venue, or even a minor accident can easily remain the topic of conversation around the water cooler for months to come, to say nothing of the legal liability that can result from a serious accident or injury.

An event liability waiver is a great way to get around this risk. These liability waiver forms offer participants and attendees information about what to expect in advance, giving them the choice of whether they want to participate knowing all the potential risks. This creates a situation that’s much more enjoyable for all involved.  

So, what’s an event liability waiver? And when can they be used? Let us explain in more detail.

What is an event liability waiver?

An event liability waiver is a standard liability waiver form that lays out the details of the event, all the potential risks, and releases the organizer or host from liability once signed. Essentially, this legal document transfers the risk of participating from the host to each attendee. 

By signing the event liability waiver, the attendee acknowledges they understand the risks and are waiving their right to sue if injured or experience damage through their participation.

There are certain key elements every event liability waiver must have:

  • An exculpatory clause removes liability from the host or event venue and transfers it to the attendee.
  • An indemnity clause transfers all responsibility for liability from the event host to the attendee.
  • An assumption of risk clause lays out all the risks inherent to the activity. When signed, it is an acknowledgment that the attendee understands the risks and is willing to attend or participate regardless.

When should you use a liability waiver for an event?

There are many occasions when an event liability waiver may be used. Some examples include:

  • Concerts
  • Company parties
  • Athletic events (races, fun runs, group exercise classes, etc.)
  • Endurance events
  • Conferences
  • Dinner events
  • Charity fundraisers

Even if all attendees sign the event liability waiver, that still doesn’t necessarily prevent them from suing if something goes wrong during the event. It just means the organizer or host business has additional legal protection if the injured party was to bring a suit against them for something that happened during the ordinary course of the activity or event.

It does not protect any business from damages resulting from gross negligence, which includes any action involving wanton carelessness and critical disregard for human safety.

For example, say you organize an annual company-wide fun run for Thanksgiving. Every year, attendees all sign waivers, but someone trips and breaks their ankle during the event. If the event was held on regular, paved streets and the broken ankle resulted from a simple mishap, the unlucky attendee would be unlikely to win a lawsuit.

However, if the run took place through an area known to be unsafe and the organizers chose to host it there anyway, the injured attendee may have a case to sue and win despite signing a waiver. This is because it should have been apparent to the hosts that injuries would likely occur due to their chosen location.  

Opt for easy online waivers with WaiverForever

Any holiday party, event, or occasion you’re organizing should be fun for everyone, including the host! One of the best ways to ensure people are safe and understand the details and risks of participating is by using event liability waiver forms.

Not sure how to get started? WaiverForever makes it easy. We have a huge library of participation waiver form templates you can customize and brand for your business. It’s easy to send attendees waivers to sign in advance of the event, or you can collect signatures at the event on any device, including phones or tablets.

Don’t wait to set it up until your next event is days away. Try a free trial of WaiverForever today.