Before signing a release form, is it my right to ask that they change words that I don’t agree with?

UPDATED: Jan 20, 2011

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Before signing a release form, is it my right to ask that they change words that I don’t agree with?

I was rear-ended a year ago and received my “Release of all Claims”. However, I don’t agree with a lot of the wording. It sounds as if they want me to accept money, acquit them of being at fault, and repay them any amount they want in the future. Is it my right to ask that they rewrite the form? One part reads “I understand that this settlement is the compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim, and that the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the persons…” Why is it doubtful when in CA, if you rear-end someone, then you are considered at fault?

Asked on January 20, 2011 under Accident Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although you can ask that language be changed, it is unlikely that it will be changed.  That language is standard boilerplate language in a release.  Unfortunately, fault is not admitted in the settlement and release, but I understand your frustration. 

The purpose of the settlement and release is in return for receiving the settlement, your claim against the other party is released and you won't be able to sue the opposing party again on the same claim.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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