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A waiver or release is the intentional and voluntary act of relinquishing something, such as a known right to sue a person, business, educational institution, or other organizations for an injury. Waivers and releases are commonly used by the sponsor of an event (e.g., a marathon) and schools when competitors, students, faculty, or visitors participate in a private or institution-sponsored activity. The term waiver is sometimes used to refer a document that is signed before any damages actually occur. A release is sometimes used to refer to a document that is executed after an injury has occurred.
A waiver can be an effective way for a person, educational institution, or organization to inform students, parents, event participants, and family members of the risks involved in various activities and to shield the person, business, educational institution, or other organization from liability. The best releases explain the risks of a particular activity or program in detail. So, even if all aspects of a release are not upheld in court, you can show that the releasing party was informed about the specific risks and should be responsible for his or her own conduct. Waivers often contain express assumption-of-risk language. This type of language:
" Describes the activity; " States that the signer has full understanding of the nature of the document; " Knows of the specified risks; " Voluntarily chooses to assume the risk; and " Agrees not to hold the institution liable for the consequences of his or her participation in the described activity.
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