If I set up an events business, how do I prevent someone from suing me if they get injured at an event put on by the business?

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If I set up an events business, how do I prevent someone from suing me if they get injured at an event put on by the business?

I was planning on setting up something that does not have its own venue, but that would rent other venues or use free ones like parks. If someone injures themselves while attending the events, can they sue me/the business? What can I do now, while I’m setting up the business, to lessen the possibility of lawsuit?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If someone is injured due to your negligence (or carelessness) or some intentional bad act of your, they can sue you; you should not be responsible for acts, problems, conditions, etc. beyond your control.

There are things you can do to help protect yourself:

1) Set up a limited liability company or corporation for the business, and do all business under/through the LLC or corporation; then even if the business incurrs liability, it should not affect your personally (so they can't go after your personal assets) except in special cases (e.g. you personally injured someone, such as by driving into them, and are being sued on a personal basis; you guarantied a debt).

2) Get adequate insurance, including a commercial umbrella policy.

3) Have your actual clients sign a form when they contract with you saying that your liabilty to them is limited to the amount they spent--this won't work in all situations against personal injury, but could protect you from lawsuits on other grounds (e.g. if they feel you breached  contract).

4) If you are doing an event built around some activity with its own risks (e.g. rock climbing, pool party, jogging), have all attendees sign a form acknowledging the events risks and that you are not liable for injuries from their participation in the activity--it's not absolute protection, but it helps.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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