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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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