With COVID-19 restrictions easing and businesses reopening across the country, many business owners and managers are understandably anxious about their liability exposure if a customer gets sick. It’s understood that the novel Coronavirus spreads easily through person-to-person contact indoors, which is especially troubling for businesses where people interact in close quarters such as stores, hair salons, wellness centers, gyms, medical offices, and restaurants. Managing COVID-19 risks with a liability waiver form can add a layer of protection.
If you need a COVID-19 Liability Waiver Form, email us at email@example.com, and we will send you a copy to use for free.
Small businesses are under extreme financial duress right now, and there are confusion and uncertainty regarding the best way to keep customers safe. Balancing customer and employee safety with the need to operate a business and keep it afloat successfully is a delicate task. For some companies, preventing any close contact with others while still maintaining the business is nearly impossible. These are incredibly challenging times for small businesses, and a lawsuit from a customer who alleges to have contracted COVID-19 from visiting the business can have disastrous consequences.
A small number of states (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming) have addressed this issue by passing legislation to provide businesses with liability protection. There are also talks of a potential nationwide law being implemented. It’s unknown, however, if and when any such legislation will pass.
Liability Waivers for Legal Risk Management
In the meantime, many businesses are taking matters into their own hands with the use of liability waiver forms. They are requiring that each customer sign a liability waiver agreement before entering the establishment. Even the Trump campaign recently required attendees at a rally to agree that they would not sue if they contracted the Coronavirus.
The effectiveness of a liability waiver will vary greatly depending on the language used in the waiver and the state in question. Courts in some states are known to be friendly towards liability waivers while others look at them more skeptically. Despite these concerns, many legal professionals believe it to be worthwhile for businesses managing COVID-19 risks with liability waiver forms.
Many businesses have decided a liability waiver can provide some peace of mind and that there is a minimal downside to using them. At the very least, the customer will confirm they have not had any COVID-19 symptoms recently and will be on notice that they are facing potential risks and should proceed with caution.
What a Liability Waiver Form Contains
Some common provisions are appearing in these liability waiver forms. These forms generally contain:
- Representations that the customer has not experienced symptoms of COVID-19.
- An acknowledgment that the customer understands there are risks relating to COVID-19 that cannot be fully mitigated.
- A waiver of any liability on the part of the business should the customer or their family members contract the Coronavirus as a result of their patronage.
A liability waiver form is no replacement for well thought out safety procedures. The first line of defense for businesses is establishing protocols for COVID-19 prevention. A liability waiver form can offer additional protection and may potentially save a business owner from lawsuit damages if those protocols fail, and a client becomes sick.
To get your free COVID-19 Liability Waiver Form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will send you a Liability Waiver Form as a PDF to your inbox. You’re free to use the form for your business by printing it out or using an e-signature solution such as Countersign.