Why Do We Need a Disclaimer

SIL - Blog Graphics A disclaimer is a notice on a webpage, or in a document that tells the reader what you do and what you don’t do.

It is setting a legal boundary.

Why?  

Why do we need them?
  1. Some people believe everything they read.
  2. Some people rely on the first thing they read.
  3. People imbue different meanings into things.
  4. People may use as as a legal scapegoat.
Disclaimers have two purposes:
  1. To protect the reader from misunderstanding
  2. The protect us from misunderstanding.

Disclaimers draw the boundaries around what is “in” and what is “out.”

You won’t believe how many people have seen I am a Dr. and assumed I am a medical doctor. I cannot count the number of times someone has heard, “blah blah, my friend Dr. Cate Cole,” and the sidled up to me and asked me if I could check a mole, or a raised area somewhere!”

I am not kidding.

Now. I don’t carry around a disclaimer with me at social events because I can explain myself in real time. But what if someone saw I was a doctor on my site, and then read something about health, because I am interested in essential oils and crystals? So many things go awry when someone adds 1 + 1 and gets 3. Trust me.

But, my website is clear. It has a disclaimer on there saying anything on there is informational only, so that visitors to the site are given “notice” that they need to take responsibility for acting on any of that information on my site. It also clearly says that I will not be liable for damages if a visitor chooses to use that information, and it causes them harm. An example of that would be:  Lavender oil can help you relax and then an allergic reaction occurs because of the use of lavender oil. We want it to be clear with a disclaimer that which we are and that which we are not - eg: sure I am a coach, but not a health coach, nutritionist etc.

Indeed, on my website sisterinlaw.com.au, I say very clearly that the site is intended for information only and does NOT constitute legal advice or create a client-attorney relationship.

Disclaimers are an important addition to our website, they can be purchased at a low cost and placed as a link on your site.