So I was thinking the other day about making up some legal release forms and keeping them in my Jeep for if I ever help pull someone out of a sticky situation.
Last Christmas, in a snow storm, I was asked to help get a BMW out of the ditch. I did not feel like I could do it without possibly ruining his car. He was so pissed, he said "I don't care, just yank it out, we need to get to a party."
I still did not do it.
But, having him sign a release (personal liability as well - what if my cable snaps and hurts him?) might not be a bad idea.
That's a really good idea. If I'm pulling a fellow jeeper out of a bind, I usually insist that we use their recovery equipment. First of all, if it breaks it's not mine and second if it breaks it's not mine. I have heard people ask for a deposit of like $40 if they have to use their own to get someone out. As far as helping out regular vehicals stuck in snow or mud, I'd feel better with some legal papers between me and their lawyers.
In an age where everyone seems to be out to get theirs, it definitely couldn't hurt. When someone can sue a dog owner because their dog bit them even though this person jumped over a fence into a private yard with a beware of dog sign, it is only prudent we protect ourselves. Perhaps we have a legal/lawyer type here on the forums that would mind making one up. Did a quick search on Google and their are a ton of release of liability forms, but most seem geared towards companies, not individuals.
Maybe I'm just naive, but if I can pull someone out with a reasonable chance of no damage to their vehicle, then I go on verbal agreement. Maybe I'm putting myself in harms way there - but I'll be interested to see what you decide to do!
In my opinion, if you feel you need a waiver to pull someone out, just walk away. There's nothing wrong with making sure no one is hurt, then moving on. They got themselves into the mess. Having a Jeep doesn't obligate you to provide wrecker service.
2013 JKU Sahara, Commando Green - 2.5" Franken Lift - Rancho 9000xl shocks - 275/70r18 Cooper ST Maxx in summer - 265/70r18 Bizzaks in winter
I live dangerously. I've pulled people out on several occasions. I don't discuss liability and I don't make them sign any forms. I make a determination as to whether I can help and whether I want to and then I offer assistance - if they say yes, I help.
Over all, do what suits you. You're under no obligation to help someone out.
If you are worried about, record a verbal agreement on your cell phone at the time. It's holds up in court, it's legal, but you don't need to carry papers. I have personally not carried paperwork but I have thought about it. Most of the time when I need to really pull someone though, the car is a beater already and you know they don't care. The few other times it was done, I had witnesses on what was said. Photos help too, I try to catch some of the before, during and after as well. Especially the after, showing no damage and the car sitting on the street again.
2013 JKU Sport, billet, auto, 3.73, LSD, 315/75/16 Duratracs on MB 72, 10A springs, Bushwacker flatties
If you think you need a release to pull someone out, then dont pull them out. Even if your release is air tight and completely legal, they can still take you to court. The lawyers and judge will pick it apart. You might still lose the case. And how much did it cost you to take a day off work for court?
I probably wouldn't have pulled a BMW out either. "i dont care"? Really? Bull. If he cared he wouldn't drive a BMW. Just being stuck in the snow probably already damaged it.
By the way, i've been winched out by wreckers before. They never even made me sign anything before we did the deed.