What Is a Hold Harmless Agreement in Florida?
Personal injuries happen more often than we think. They could come from a head injury in a baseball game, a slip-and-fall at work or school, or even when something falls on you because it was improperly secured.
If you were a victim of a personal injury because of someone else’s fault or negligence, it’s only natural and reasonable you’d want to seek compensation. However, they might point you to a hold harmless agreement you signed and argue that they are free from liability.
Read on to learn more about hold harmless agreements in Florida, how it affects the liability of persons, and how a personal injury lawyer can help.
What is a Hold Harmless Agreement?
A hold harmless agreement is a contract where one person states they will not hold the other party liable in case of injury or loss.
These kinds of agreements are more common than you think. Schools make parents sign them before letting kids go on trips, and companies make you sign hold harmless agreements before letting you do work that can be seen as potentially risky.
Hold harmless agreements are also called waivers of liability since you waive the right to hold the other person liable for injury or loss.
Are Hold Harmless Agreements Valid in Florida?
The state of Florida generally provides that hold harmless agreements are valid, subject to certain exceptions. After all, they work on the same premise as contracts signed by parties with full knowledge and consent.
However, hold harmless agreements do not necessarily mean you can no longer sue in case of injury or loss. Depending on the wording of the contract or the clause, there may be specific instances where you can still sue, such as in cases the agreement does not cover.
How Do Hold Harmless Agreements Affect Third Persons?
Like most contracts, hold harmless agreements affect only the parties who signed them. For instance, if you signed a hold harmless agreement with a building owner and suffered an injury in the building because of a tenant’s negligence, you can still sue the negligent tenant.
The hold harmless agreement only limits the liability of the building owner. Since the tenant is not a party to the contract, they cannot use the provisions of the hold harmless agreement to limit their liability.
Should You Get a Lawyer?
Whether you can still sue and recover economic and non-economic damages despite a hold harmless agreement largely depends on the circumstances of the case and the wording of the contract.
Most contracts are intentionally worded in a complex way to ensure specificity. This is especially the case for contracts already written and presented to you only to be signed. These kinds of contracts have been reviewed by a lawyer, whom the other party will rely on in case the agreement needs to be invoked.
At Gross & Schuster, P.A., our personal injury lawyers can look at the specifics of your agreement and help advise you on the extent of the actions you can take under the hold harmless agreement. For a quick review of your case or answers to questions, call us at 850-434-3333.