Hold Harmless Law & Legal Definition


A hold harmless agreement is one in which one person agrees to assume the liability and risk that may arise from the obligation, and protects and indemnifies the other party against having to bear any loss. It may be used along with an acknowledgement of risk form. An indemnification or hold harmless clause may be included so the other party to the contract is reimbursed against loss or damage should a legal dispute ensue with respect to the contract or agreement. A hold harmless agreement is also called a save harmless agreement.

A hold harmless agreement is designed to release one or more parties from legal liability. Hold harmless agreements may be unilateral, or may apply to both the contracting parties.

Hold harmless agreements are not treated uniformly in all jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions take the view that a hold harmless agreement can address claims that arise between the contracting parties themselves. On the other hand, some jurisdictions have maintained that hold harmless agreements may only protect a contracting party from claims brought by a person or entity who isn’t a party to the agreement.

A hold harmless agreement may be used in a variety of business transactions. It may also be entered between a patient and physician.