Legal disclaimers warn consumers that using a product could harm them in some way. As the economy has become increasingly centered around the internet, it is critical that business owners use legal disclaimers on their websites to shield themselves from potential lawsuits.
Legal disclaimers are required by law to avoid or reduce liability for harm suffered by people who act on your advice. Failing to include one on your website could enable someone to sue you and collect damages for physical or monetary harm they suffer after listening to your website’s advice, even if they do so rather foolishly. Website legal disclaimers are typically simple, straightforward, and short, but can save you thousands of dollars and the headache of a lawsuit. A legal disclaimer must provide notice to anyone who visits your website that you do not intend them to take your website’s advice as fact.
A good legal disclaimer will communicate that you do not intend people to treat the information on your website as advice that they should act upon. There are several ways you could communicate this. For example, you could communicate that the information may not be accurate even though you do your best to keep it up to date, that the advice is general and not necessarily applicable to their situation, or that you do not guarantee any specific outcome if they take your advice. Disclaimers will differ depending on what information is on your website, however. It is unwise to copy a disclaimer from another website because the disclaimer may be poorly written or simply inadequate for use on your website.
Disclaimers must be visible to people who use your website to be legally effective. If a disclaimer is not clearly designated and set apart from the rest of your content, a court may hold it does not protect you from liability. You should place a disclaimer in a section or paragraph that is separate from the rest of your content and uses clear language to say you are denying liability. Examples of visible places to put a disclaimer include a terms and conditions agreement, a website footer, or a separate page on your website.
A disclaimer will only be effective if it contains specific language and is clear that it disclaims you from liability. An attorney can help you determine what you need to include in your disclaimer, and where you should put it on your website to adequately protect you from liability. If you need assistance crafting website legal disclaimers, contact the Indiana business attorneys of McNeelyLaw today.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.