Hire an Attorney to Create Your Hold Harmless Agreement
What Is a Hold Harmless Agreement?
A hold harmless agreement is a legal document stating that one entity will not hold another specified party liable for harm. Usually, these agreements refer to physical harm, injuries, and damages.
Parties can structure hold harmless agreements in two ways:
- Unilateral: These agreements only work one way. Under this type of agreement, Party A cannot hold Party B liable for harm. Although, Party B could hold Party A liable.
- Reciprocal: These are two-way agreements. Party A cannot hold Party B liable for harm, and Party B cannot hold Party A liable for harm.
Hold harmless agreements are most commonly signed before an activity takes place. However, they may remain valid if signed after the event.
Other Names for Hold Harmless Agreements
Hold harmless agreements are commonly referred to by a variety of names, including:
- Release of Liability
- Indemnity Agreement
- Hold Harmless Letter
- Waiver of Liability
- Hold Harmless Clause
Regardless of the name, the purpose of the document remains the same.
When Do You Need to Use a Hold Harmless Agreement?
A hold harmless agreement is an ideal way to protect yourself from liability if someone becomes injured while on your property, during an activity you host, or during an event you hold.
Typically, if someone sustains an injury in these scenarios, you become legally liable for her or his resulting medical bills or the cost of any damaged personal property. With a hold harmless agreement, that liability no longer applies.
Here are a few example scenarios where you should consider having an experienced attorney create an agreement:
- You hire someone to perform a service on your property, such as cleaning, construction, or painting.
- You host an event that includes a physical activity where someone could be injured. For example, a softball game or group bike ride.
- You’re planning to rent out your property to another party.
- Someone was previously injured on your property or at your event and agreed to not hold you liable for her or his sustained injuries.
There is a good chance you also need to sign hold harmless agreements when you go to events or perform work for someone else. Some common occurrences include:
- Participating in a charity run or bike ride
- Renting a venue for a party or wedding
- Doing work on someone’s private property
- Participating in a risky activity such as skydiving, horseback riding, or extreme sports
- Leasing or renting a property
While you are not the one creating the agreements in these circumstances, you must still understand the document you sign.
Why Do I Need an Attorney to Create a Hold Harmless Agreement?
As with any legal document, a hold harmless agreement needs to include certain information and language to ensure its validity and that it can stand up in a court of law.
It needs to have particular details such as the party held harmless, which party proves the protection, and the dates for the agreement’s validity. You also need to indicate the category of your event and a description of the interaction between the two parties.
This information needs to be thorough and accurate–the slightest omission or inaccuracy could create a loophole, ruining your liability protection.
An attorney knows exactly what to include and how to present the information. They’ll ensure your agreement provides you with the protection you need.
Will Hold Harmless Agreements Always Protect Me From Liability Issues?
You should understand that a hold harmless agreement is not a catch-all for all liability issues. However, it does prove the party involved acknowledged certain risks that pertain to the situation or activity the party engages in.
If injuries or damages occur on your property or during your activity from risks not outlined in the agreement, you may still find yourself held liable. For example, if someone becomes injured on an amusement ride you provided because of faulty equipment, the agreement would likely not protect your liability. A court may also refuse to uphold your agreement if it is too broad or if the language used is too vague. An experienced attorney can create an agreement that includes the correct verbiage to protect your liability as much as possible.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Protecting yourself from liability issues is important if you ever hold an event or allow other people to use your property. Without one, you could face an insurmountable financial burden if you find yourself held liable for another party’s injuries or property damages.
Attorneys experienced with hold harmless agreements know exactly what language to use and what information to include in your agreement to ensure it holds up in the court of law, even if another party attempts to sue you after an incident. Don’t attempt to create your own agreement by using a template. You run the risk of leaving loopholes that can expose you to liability issues.
We have a network of lawyers in over 20 different areas of law and across the U.S. The team at Request Legal Help can connect you with an experienced attorney in your area. They can assess your individual needs and create the hold harmless agreement necessary to protect your rights going forward.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!