Release of Liability | Hold Harmless (Indemnity) Agreement

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Updated September 12, 2022

A release of liability, ‘hold harmless agreement’ or ‘indemnity agreement’, is a legal document that indemnifies an individual or business entity from legal and/or financial responsibility. Although, this is usually limited to negligence on behalf of the party being held harmless. If the release is being signed after the event took place, such as a car accident, the releasor may be paid money to sign such an agreement.

2 Parties

  • Releasor – The person releasing the other from a liability.
  • Releasee – The person being released from liability.

Table of Contents

By Type (11)

Car Accident Release of Liability – Settles a fault and any further legal or financial strain from an individual or company that was involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Media (Video + Photo) Release – Allows a media company or any third (3rd) party to use video(s) or photo(s) for news publication.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Medical Record Information Release (HIPAA) – Standard form requiring the sharing of medical records from a hospital/doctor’s office to other individual’s the patient deems worthy.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Lease Agreement Release – When a tenant wants to get out of their lease early or if the landlord wants to remove the tenant from the property before the lease ends.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Location (Event) Release of Liability – Most commonly used for school trips or activities where the group that is sponsoring it does not want to be accountable for any accidents that may occur while at the location or event.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Non-Compete Release Form – Allows a person to be released from the non-compete restraint.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument




Photo Release Form – For the general purpose of using a person, entity, or any type of picture that is made commercial use.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Real Estate (Mechanic’s) Lien Release – This form erases any lien that has been placed on real estate by a contractor (mechanic’s lien) or any type of laborer.

Download: Adobe PDF



Social Security Release of Information (Form SSA-3288) – In order to allow a third (3rd) party representative to access an individual’s Social Security benefit information.

Download: Adobe PDF



Veterans Affairs Medical Records Release (VA Form 10-5345) – Use to release health care information being held by the VA to be transferred to another entity or individual.

Download: Adobe PDF



Video Release – Allows another individual or entity to use footage of someone else for any type of video publication.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



What is a Release of Liability?

A release of liability sets someone 100% free of any legal or financial entanglements. It allows both parties to walk away without fear of reprisal. Some require the releasee to make a payment or follow other conditions to remain valid. After a release of liability has been agreed to, there is no other recourse for the releasor. The releasee will have no outstanding obligations to the releasor.


A release of liability if also referred to as a:

  • Liability Release Form
  • General Release of Liability Form
  • Hold Harmless Agreement
  • Liability Waiver
  • Waiver of Liability


When to Use

A release of liability is commonly used in the following events:

  • DMV (selling a vehicle);
  • After a car accident;
  • Hiring contractors;
  • Employment termination;
  • Medical records transfer;
  • Releasing a lien; and
  • Getting out of any type of high-risk situation.

Types of Protections

A release of liability offers two (2) types of protections, legal and financial. After a release has been signed, neither party will have any further obligation towards one another, either legally or financially.

Risks of Not Using

The risk of not using a release of liability means a person can be held responsible for something that occurred in the past. For this reason, it’s recommended to have a release of liability signed during any type of agreement or conflict.

How to Get a Release of Liability (3 Steps)

Step 1 – Find Out What is Legally Required

person consulting legal counsel

Before trying to obtain a release of liability form, check with your state to see if it’s required when selling a vehicle. Like a Bill of Sale, some states do not require a release of liability to be signed and presented to the DMV; however, it’s still recommended to have in your records.

Step 2 – Draft a Release of Liability

person drafting release of liability agreement on laptop

Once you are certain that a release of liability is required, it’s now time to download or create (recommended). After the agreement has been written it should be sent to both parties for review.

For Vehicles – A “Notice of Transfer” is a required form in some states, like California, Florida, or Texas, that also includes a release of liability for the seller. After signing, the buyer will retain all future responsibility and liability for the vehicle.

Step 3 – Execute and Sign

party signing release of liability agreement

If there is a payment required as part of the release, it should be paid at the time of signing. Once both parties authorize the document, no further responsibility or liability will be owed to either party.



I. THE PARTIES. This General Release of Liability (“Release”) is made this [RELEASE DATE] is by and between:

Releasor: [RELEASOR’S NAME] with a mailing address of [RELEASOR’S MAILING ADDRESS] (“Releasor”), and

Releasee: [RELEASEE’S NAME] with a mailing address of [RELEASEE’S MAILING ADDRESS] (“Releasee”).

II. LIABILITY EVENT. Under the terms of this Release and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the Releasor hereby releases and forever discharges the Releasee of: [DESCRIBE THE LIABILITY] (“Liability”).

THEREFORE under the terms of this Agreement and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, do hereby release and forever discharge the Releasee including their agents, employees, successors and assigns, and their respective heirs, personal representatives, affiliates, successors and assigns, and any and all persons, firms or corporations liable or who might be claimed to be liable, whether or not herein named, none of whom admit any liability to the undersigned, but all expressly denying liability, from any and all claims, demands, damages, actions, causes of action or suits of any kind or nature whatsoever, which now have or may hereafter have, arising out of or in any way relating to any and all injuries and damages of any and every kind, to both person and property, and also any and all injuries and damages that may develop in the future, as a result of or in any way relating to the Liability.

III. PAYMENT. As part of this Release, the Parties agrees to: (check one)

– No payment by the Releasee to the Releasor.

– A payment of $[PAYMENT AMOUNT] by the Releasee to the Releasor.

It is understood and agreed that this Release is made and received in full and complete settlement and satisfaction the causes of action, claims and demands mentioned herein; that this Release contains the entire agreement between the Releasor and Releasee; and that the terms of this Release are contractual and not merely a recital.

IV. BINDING EFFECT. This Release shall be binding upon the undersigned, and his respective heirs, executors, administrators, personal representatives, successors and assigns.

Releasor’s Signature: _________________________________ Date ______________

Print Name: _________________________________

Releasee’s Signature: _________________________________ Date ______________

Print Name: _________________________________

How to Write

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I. The Parties

(1) Calendar Date Of Document. Record the date when this release is filled out and completed.

(2) Releasor Name. The legal name of the Entity who shall no longer hold the Releasee responsible for the actions this document concerns must be reported. Present this Entity as the Releasor behind this paperwork making sure to include any status suffixes required in its full name. If this is a Private Party (i.e., a Person), then his or her full name (including middle initial) should be provided.

(3) Releasor Address.

(4) Releasee Name. The Releasee participating in this paperwork will be protected from repercussions for the concerned events or actions. The Releasee must be attached to this role by dispensing his or her full name where it is requested. If the Releasee is a Person then his or her first, middle, and last name should be produced while if the Releasee is an Entity, then its entire legal name including suffixes of status (such as “corp.”)  should be presented.

(5) Releasee Address.

Article II. Liability Event

(6) Event Or Actions Being Indemnified. Regardless of the Releasor and Releasee’s current relationship or contractual obligations, a specifically worded description of the Releasee’s actions, behaviors, and professional practices that would normally hold the Releasee accountable to the Releasor but will, through this document, no longer obligate the Releasee to the Releasor should be listed. For instance, if the Releasor holds the intellectual property rights to an engineered design but will not seek compensation should the Releasee sell products based on this design, then the allowed sales, marketing schemes, and description of the design (including Patent number) owned by the Releasor should be discussed.

Article III. Payment

Select Item 7 or Item 8

(7) No Payment By Releasee. Some situations involving indemnification entitle the Releasor to require payment before allowing the Releasee the protection this agreement affords. If this situation does not necessitate a payment from the Releasee and thus will not be required for the execution of this document, then select the first checkbox statement.

(8) Required Payment For Release. If this agreement will only be executed by the Releasor if he or she receives a payment from the Releasee then solidify this requirement by selecting the second statement as well as documenting the full amount that must be paid to complete the language of this statement.

Article IV. Binding Effect

(9) Releasor’s Signature. The Releasor must sign this paperwork to grant the liability protection it promises. If the Releasor is a Business Entity, then a duly authorized Signature Representative of the Releasor can sign his or her name on its behalf.

(10) Date Of Releasor’s Signature. The signature date must be used to document when the Releasor formally enters this agreement and must be reported immediately after he or she signs this document as the current calendar date.

(11) Releasor’s Printed Name. The signature provided by the Releasor must be accompanied with his or her printed name. In the case of an Entity’s Signature Representative, his or her position with the Releasor Company should be presented.

(12) Releasee’s Signature. The Releasee must sign his or her name to prove acceptance of the terms required for this release to occur.

(13) Date Of Releasee’s Signature. The Releasee must document when he or she has formally accepted the above conditions to be held harmless or freed from liability regarding the events and actions discussed above.

(14) Printed Name Of Releasee.