Hold Harmless Agreement

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Updated Nov 8, 2023
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A hold harmless agreement (HHA) is a pivotal contract for shielding parties from potential legal liabilities within the scope of their engagement. Whether you're an organization aiming to protect your interests or an individual assuming risk on behalf of another, a hold harmless agreement template offers a robust structure for managing potential claims and litigation. Get this free HHA agreement form and complete it without a hassle.
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Paper titled "Hold Harmless Agreement"; injured man is being examined by a doctor

A hold harmless agreement (HHA) is a pivotal contract for shielding parties from potential legal liabilities within the scope of their engagement. Whether you're an organization aiming to protect your interests or an individual assuming risk on behalf of another, a hold harmless agreement template offers a robust structure for managing potential claims and litigation.

By utilizing adaptable templates from Lawrina, you can be confident that your hold harmless agreement aligns with your distinctive conditions and complies with legal standards.

What Is a Hold Harmless Agreement

A hold harmless form is a legal document that prevents one party from holding the other accountable for loss, damage, or injuries. It essentially transfers the risk from one party to another and protects the indemnified party from harm.

Parties of the Hold Harmless Agreement

In a sample hold harmless agreement, there are two primary parties:

  • Indemnifier: The party who agrees to take on the potential risks and liabilities and ensures they will compensate for any losses or damages. 

  • Indemnitee: The party that is protected under the agreement and who is shielded from any legal or financial obligations arising from the mentioned incident or transaction. 

Key Terms

  • Indemnity: Refers to the measure that secures one party against losses or damages that another party may inflict. It encompasses restitution for potential future damages, existing losses, or legal liabilities.

  • Liability: Describes the legal accountability one party has towards another within the context of the agreement, often involving financial obligations. This term defines the extent and conditions of such responsibility. Liability is crucial in several contractual arrangements, including a construction hold harmless agreement template, where one party agrees to assume the liability associated with certain potential risks or damages.
  • Negligence: Specifies the legal principle that forms a measure for expected behavior designed to protect individuals or entities from causing harm to others. It sets parameters for a lack of due care or attention in fulfilling contractual duties.

  • Waiver: This term denotes a voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or privilege as outlined in the agreement. Using a hold harmless template, this provision acknowledges that certain rights can be intentionally surrendered under specific circumstances to protect another party from liability.

  • Claim: Defines the official assertion made by one party against another under the rules set by the generic hold harmless agreement for reimbursement of losses or damages due to the other party's actions. It sets the parameters for when and how a claim should be lodged.

What Is Included in the Hold Harmless Agreement

The hold harmless agreement, also commonly referred to as a "hold harmless letter," covers multiple components, each detailing specific aspects of indemnity and protection.

  1. Scope of Indemnity: This section outlines the agreement's protective boundary, specifying the situations in which the indemnity applies.

  2. Duration: The clause that defines the time frame in which the indemnity is applicable.

  3. Conditions: Specific terms under which the indemnifier would be liable to cover the loss, damage, or injury.

How To Write a Hold Harmless Agreement Form

A hold harmless agreement sample is a legally binding document that is used to protect one or both parties from legal suits brought about as a result of an event, transaction, or other agreement. Here are the steps to write a comprehensive hold harmless agreement form:

  1. Identification of Parties: Begin by identifying each party involved in the agreement. Typically, this information comprises full names, addresses, and contact information. This step forms the basis of a contractor hold harmless agreement template, setting a clear foundation for the expectations and responsibilities of all parties involved.

  2. Define Key Terms: Outline critical terms such as indemnity, liability, negligence, waiver, and claim. These terms will guide the construction and interpretation of the agreement.

  3. Detailed Description of the Agreement: Describe the purpose of the agreement accurately, pinpointing the liability scope covered by it.

  4. Indemnification Clause: This section should clearly articulate the situations where damages could occur and define who would bear the responsibility in such instances. Create a comprehensive indemnification clause using a sample hold harmless agreement template. 

  5. Waiver: If necessary, include a waiver clause that specifies any rights or claims being voluntarily surrendered by either party involved in the agreement.

  6. Term and Termination: Include the duration of the agreement. Make it clear when the agreement begins and ends and under what circumstances it can be terminated.

  7. Negligence Clause: Detail a clause that addresses potential negligence on the part of any party. 

  8. Dispute Resolution: Define how disputes will be settled, whether through mediation, arbitration, or court litigation.

  9. Jurisdictional Clause: Indicate the laws of which state or country will govern the agreement.

  10. Signatures: The document must be signed by authorized signatories from all involved parties. If notarization is required, ensure a notary public is present at the signing. This is particularly critical in clauses such as the hold harmless example, where one party agrees not to hold the other liable for specific potential losses or damages.

When To Use a Hold Harmless Agreement Form

Utilizing a simple hold harmless agreement form can be advantageous in a multitude of scenarios due to its associated benefits:

  • Clear agreement on liability conditions

  • Both parties comprehend their responsibilities

  • Potential ramifications of an infringement are spelled out

Ultimately, with the establishment of a hold harmless agreement form, you may find yourself needing more protection for potential liabilities.

Common Use Cases

A free hold harmless agreement templates available online can be employed in the following situations:

  • You are an entity desiring protection from any liabilities related to a particular event or activity.
  • You have entered into a contract with another party who might be exposed to potential risks.
  • You are a party needing clarity on your liabilities and obligations concerning a specific agreement.

When Not To Use a Hold Harmless Agreement Form

While a hold harmless agreement, which can often be created using a hold harmless agreement template free of charge, is valuable in many circumstances, there are instances where it might not be essential. For instance:

  • Public Liability: If the involved risk is a general one that every party in the public sphere is exposed to, a hold harmless agreement may not confer any extra protection.

  • Standard Contracts: A hold harmless agreement may be redundant if the default contract already incorporates sufficient clauses protecting against liabilities.

  • Low-Risk Activities: In situations where the potential risks are not significant or the chances of mishap are minimal, a hold harmless agreement may be considered unnecessary.

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site.

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms. 

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