Are Negligence Waivers Enforceable in Florida?

Thu, Jan 14, 2016

General Legal Issues

3240695228_9745608164_bSome are, yes. However, like any legal document, they have to be well written,. That means you have to be particularly careful to word them in correct legal language and make sure you account for every situation possible. Hmm….is that even possible?

Probably not, but you can try. A good way to do this would be to research all kinds of possible events that might occur. Are there prior cases where negligence suits arose at your type of establishment? Make sure you are aware of everything you can be.

Then think about it yourself. What could you see happening or what would you be worried about if you were visiting the establishment? What’s the wackiest thing that might happen? What if you hire bad employees…what could they do to harm your customer?

Then you need to consult with an attorney that practices in the area of contracts. You want to be sure the wording is correct and binding. It might be a good idea to also consult with a personal injury attorney to know what they would look for in an agreement if they got a case involving your establishment. Moreover, if you are working in a particular industry you might want to consult with an attorney who deals in that industry. Do not forget that you need to be sure any contracts you enter into work with your insurance coverage. Insurance companies have specific rules about contracts and what they require of their customers. You wouldn’t want your waiver to fail and then not have the coverage you thought you carried under your insurance.

Why? Because you need to be sure the negligence waiver accounts for anything that might occur and that it protects you as well as it can and that it is worded correctly for it be enforceable.

In addition, you need to be sure that it is even an acceptable waiver of negligence—because sometimes you can’t sign away all of your personal rights. An absurd waiver isn’t going to stand up, either. You need to draft a waiver that is clear and unambiguous. This is a main requirement of waivers of negligence. You need to be as specific as possible about what type of negligence liability you are releasing.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, family law, real estate, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

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