We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Waiver of Liability?

By Charity Delich
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A waiver of liability is a written or oral acknowledgement made by a person who is engaging in a risky pursuit. In making the acknowledgement, the person usually gives up his right to sue the other party if he suffers an injury, damages, or some other kind of loss while undertaking the activity. Typically, a waiver is signed when a person undertakes a pursuit that has a relatively large amount of risk associated with it, such as surgery, flying, bungee jumping, or the like.

In order for this type of waiver to be valid, evidence of consent to the waiver normally must exist. This can be either express or implied. An express waiver of liability is usually evidenced when someone has signed a written agreement releasing the other party from responsibility. For instance, an express waiver would exist if a skier signed a document releasing a skiing facility from legal liability if the skier suffers injuries while out on the slopes.

An implied waiver of liability, on the other hand, can be less clear. By and large, it occurs when someone’s actions support that he or she voluntarily waived the right to recover damages in the event of an injury or loss. An implied waiver situation may occur, for example, if someone attends a baseball game and is hit by a fly ball. It may be implied that, by attending the game, the person assumed the risk of being injured by a stray ball.

A personal injury waiver of liability is one of the most common types of waivers. These releases are primarily used as a condition for participating in an activity by an entity that hosts certain recreational activities. An amusement park, a scuba diving company, a cruise ship, or a scooter rental company may all require their patrons to sign personal injury waivers. Essentially, by signing one of these releases, a person gives up the right to sue if he or she suffers personal injuries as a result of engaging in the specified activity.

Some courts don’t view waiver of liability provisions favorably because these clauses have the potential to allow a negligent party to avoid responsibility for negligent or reckless behavior. In other words, a waiver attempts to make the waiving party solely responsible for his or her injuries — even if those injuries were caused by the non-waiving party. Given this issue, some courts do not enforce waivers at all while other courts enforce with great caution.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon934597 — On Feb 21, 2014

I'm putting a new roof on my house. The roofers don't have insurance. What kind of waiver do I need to protect myself from any liability?

By anon930954 — On Feb 06, 2014

I need some repair done on my outside chimney on the second level of my home. Is it enough to hire a company that signs a waiver or should I only hire a company that is insured?

By anon308563 — On Dec 11, 2012

What kind of a waiver is required to ride a rocketbelt for about 33 seconds?

By anon277711 — On Jul 01, 2012

How about waiver of liability for a pre-employment background check? Why would that be considered "risky" behavior? Why should I have to waive my rights just for employment?

By anon201144 — On Jul 29, 2011

I signed a waiver for my kid to go to jujitsu. Now, the young instructors are taking risks with my kid, and I'm stuck because we signed a contract.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Jun 07, 2011

I was really intrigued by the last paragraph in the article that talk about how waivers of liability can be abused. I can see how this could be a huge issue under certain circumstances. What if you sign up to go sky diving and the company gives you an old, defective parachute that fails to deploy?

They could argue that you understood the risks and signed a form releasing them from responsibility. On the other hand, I think these waivers often imply that the party offering the service will make every effort to ensure that it is safe and managed responsibly. It seems like there is a lot of legal grey area here. I can imagine long and heated court room debates trying to place responsibility.

By GreenWeaver — On Jun 07, 2011

@Cupcake15 - You would be surprised how many kids do get hurt. I think that a lot of those inflatable water slides are really dangerous. I remember my children went to a party that had a large inflatable water slide and my son had to be rushed to the hospital because the boy that rode immediately behind him bumped into him and had his mouth opened when he slipped and hit my son on the head.

He needed to have stitches on his head and it was really scary. I have to say that even the inflatable bounce houses have to be monitored because if they have too many kids in them the children can get hurt. After this experience, I would not have any of these inflatables at a party because of the risk of children getting hurt as well as the risk of potential liability.

By cupcake15 — On Jun 07, 2011

I usually have to sign a liability release for my kids to be able to play sports. It you read one of these liability forms it can be really intimidating. In fact they even include a liability release from death which was really shocking to see in print.

I know that a lot of the local roller rinks have the parents sign a waiver of liability form in case one of their children gets hurt on the roller rink floor. I have personally never seen anyone get hurt on a roller rink floor, but it is always a good idea for a business to cover itself just in case with a waiver of liability release.

By Bhutan — On Jun 07, 2011

I wanted to say that every year I have to sign a general waiver of liability when my kids go back to school in order for them to go on field trips. The school likes to have the parents sign one liability waiver form instead of several throughout the year for each individual field trip.

It makes it easier for the school to make sure that they have a waiver form on file for each child that goes on a field trip.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.