Today, the discussion on enforcement of liability waivers and Covid-19 damages has brought along mixed legal reactions from different states.
The enforceability of such waivers depends on the state law, the jury presence, or the waiver’s language. In other words, there’s no common law that guides the enforcement of liability waivers related to covid-19 cases across all the states. So, it is essential for waiver providers to consider potential legal concerns of their locality should a patient ask for Covid-19 liability waivers.
What is a liability waiver?
A liability waiver is a legal document that any individual who participates in dangerous activities signs to acknowledge the risks they are getting themselves into. The individual participating in such activities signs a waiver to accept the risk associated with their choices of events or activities. By doing that, they release the law and insurance firms off the liability related to those risks.
Are Covid-19 liability waivers enforceable in all states?
While most liability waivers are enforceable, there might be an exemption for liability waivers relating to pandemics. For instance, Covid-19 exposure or dangers are new. They have not yet been legally discussed or interpreted in most United States courts. For that reason, every state differently evaluates the enforceability of Covid-19 liability waivers.
In most States, Covid-19 liability waivers are enforceable with subject to some restrictions. For instance, in Michigan, individuals may sign against liability waivers for harm resulting from personal or ordinary negligence, but not those caused by gross negligence or rather willful misconduct.
Also, no parties would be protected against the liability if they intentionally engaged in the activity causing harm.
On the contrary,states like Montana, Virginia, or Louisiana, don’t accept enforceability of personal injury liability waivers. Therefore, courts that examine liability waivers relating to Covid-19 in the United States should be guided by the established principles of laws within a specific state.
What factors are considered in drafting liability waivers?
For a Covid-19 liability waiver to have the chance of being enforced in all the states, it should then be carefully drafted. The following are some guidelines that should be observed in preparing liability waivers;
While making laws or regulations governing liability waivers, a requirement for enforceability dictates that a waiver should be easy to understand. Each statemust ensure the waiver is evident and conspicuous to the signers. Even better, it should guarantee individuals understands the risks and rights associated with the waiver.
A waiver might be unambiguous but still be contrary to public policy. It would then be unenforceable. Therefore, a well-drafted Covid-19 liability waiver should comply with the public policy or align with the public’s interest.
Choice of law
There is no general law directing the interpretation of a liability waiver between parties of different states. So, there should be a choice of law provided with a connection to related issues. In other words, a quality drafted waiver should allow the law-specific state to provide the framework that governs the contract.
Signed liability waiver
Both parties involved should sign the waiver to prove legibility. This indicates that both parties have consented to the record.
With the Covid-19 effects being felt everywhere, most people are concerned about the liability waivers. So, if you have any requirement to get a release and waiver form, you may download it online.