If we’re going to use our cars to transport clients, do I need to have clients sign a liability waiver of some kind so that my business won’t be held liable if there is an accident?

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If we’re going to use our cars to transport clients, do I need to have clients sign a liability waiver of some kind so that my business won’t be held liable if there is an accident?

I am a behaviorist with 1 employee and we are planning to use our cars to transport clients. Should our clients and their parents sign a liability waiver?

Asked on December 7, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A liability waiver helps, but is NOT absolute protection: you cannot have others give up their right to sue for your grossly negligent or reckless (more ordinarily careless) or intentional behavior; you can only protect yourself via waiver from the ordinary risks of an action or from "ordinary" levels of carelessness. To put it in perspective: a waiver would likely stop you from being sued if you braked abruptly and were rear-ended, or the car skidded in the rain; but would not protect if you were speeding, texting or otherwise driving distractedly, were driving while on any medication or substance that impairs driving, etc. 
You need to make sure you have the correct insurance, in an adequaate: that's the best way to protect yourself. Your ordinary auto insurance policy almost certainly does NOT protect you against using your car to transport others as part of your employment/business; your regular insurance is for noncommercial use. If you get into an accident while driving a client, your insurer can likely deny coverage, because you did not have the right insurance. Speak to an insurance agent and get the correct insurance for this need.


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