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Whether you're about to open a new car wash business or you have an established venture, there's a key legal matter you won't want to waste time sorting out. A car wash waiver is a must-have for any car wash owner as it could protect you from liability due to injury or damage.
To make things easier for you, we've broken down how a car wash waiver can benefit you, what to include in one and how to draft a template.
What's in this guide?
- What is a car wash waiver?
- When should I use a car wash waiver?
- What's meant by a waiver?
- What's the difference between a waiver and a release?
- What is included in a car wash waiver?
- How effective is a car wash waiver?
- Do I need to engage a lawyer?
- Get access to customisable car wash waiver templates online
- How do I write a car wash waiver?
- Where can I get free documents and templates online?
What is a car wash waiver?
A car wash waiver is an agreement between a customer and a car wash business which allows you to waive liability. Essentially, it prevents the customer from suing your business as a result of any damage or loss which may occur to their vehicle on site. It also sets out any potential risks associated with a car wash that the customer will need to accept prior to using your facilities.
This type of agreement is also known as a car wash damage waiver or car wash waiver and release form.
Download this template at Lawpath
When should I use a car wash waiver?
It's very important to put a waiver in place right from the beginning of your business venture to avoid any serious problems down the track. If there is any potential risk or harm to another person involved in your business, you will need this document to avoid any responsibility for injuries to the customer that may occur as a result of your service.
What's meant by a waiver?
Any kind of waiver is a legal document which reduces the risk of liability. Liability means that as a business owner you are responsible to others regarding any potentially harmful activity that takes place on your premise or involving your products or operations.
What's the difference between a waiver and a release?
The main difference between a waiver and a release is the transferring of responsibility. If a person waives their rights, they have relinquished them altogether. If rights are released, it means they are transferred to another party. So, essentially you are transferring the responsibility of any possible injury or damage over to the customer with your car wash waiver.
Typically, a car wash waiver will be titled as 'car wash waiver and release' and will cover both terms so you are protected as much as possible.
What is included in a car wash waiver?
It's essential to detail the full scope of responsibility you are excluding in your waiver. Your customers will need to be completely clear on the risks associated with using your service.
Typically, a car wash waiver should include the following:
- Release of liability
- List of hazardous equipment
- Potential hazards involved
- Acknowledgement of risk
- Damage to vehicle
- Acceptance of terms.
How effective is a car wash waiver?
A waiver for your car wash business can be very effective because it can work to reduce the number of injuries that take place by making your customers more aware.
This is a legally binding agreement between you and your customers which reduces your risk of liability as a business. By getting your customers to sign this agreement you are limiting their rights to sue for damages and at the same time making them aware of the risks involved in advance.
A waiver does not exempt a business owner from negligence. Negligence involves situations when a person has neglected to act in a way that a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. If you neglect to put safe practices in place which may harm children or are grossly negligent towards adults, a liability waiver cannot protect you from litigation.
Do I need to engage a lawyer?
Since this is an official document that can protect you and your business from potential legal action, it's highly recommended that you consult a lawyer when drafting your waiver. This will ensure all clauses are covered accurately for your peace of mind. You can draft the document yourself if you prefer but it's best to use a legal template from a law firm.
Get access to customisable car wash waiver templates online
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How do I write a car wash waiver?
Before you dive in and start writing your waiver, it's a good idea to make some notes. Jot down all potential injuries and damages that could occur in the operation of your car wash and any equipment that may cause a hazard. Make sure you include any potential damage to customer's vehicles as well as possible physical injury to a person.
Where can I get free documents and templates online?
In Australia, Lawpath is one example of a company that offers for an easily accessible car wash waiver template. You can sign up and get your first template for free but you will need to purchase a plan to customise your document and use more templates.
As well as Lawpath, there are a number of other reputable law firms that will help you with advice on drafting your car wash waiver:
- Legal Vision. LegalVision offers unlimited use of legal document templates, business resources and legal services in several fields for a monthly membership fee of $199.
- Legal Zebra. You can access free PDF samples from the Legal Zebra website if you sign up to their marketing emails. For customisable documents you will need to purchase a one-time fee.
- Lawpath. Lawpath is a leading legal software platform which provides templates and lawyers for hire. Users can sign up and get the first template for free but will need to purchase a plan for customisation options.
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