Free California Release / Waiver Form

Understanding Liability Waivers and Release Forms in California

Certain activities and services involve a level of risk, and it’s crucial for businesses — and in some circumstances individuals — to protect themselves from legal liability for unforeseeable accidents and injuries.

Liability waivers, also known as release forms, are legal documents in California and other states that can protect an individual’s or organization’s property and assets in certain events. A liability waiver is a legally binding form by which the signing party “waives” the right to bring legal action because of an accident that results in property damage or injury.

In California, these waivers can address potential damages in the past or in the future. For example, patrons may be asked to sign a waiver or release of liability form before engaging in a risky endeavor, such as skydiving.

Parties Involved in California Liability Waivers

There are usually at least two parties involved in a liability waiver agreement. The person or entity who is forgoing their right to take legal action is known as the “releasor.”

Consider the skydiving example mentioned above. If that company requires customers to sign an agreement to waive liability, the customers are the releasors.

The person or entity who seeks protection from liability in the event of an accident that results in injury or other damages is known as the “releasee.” In the skydiving example, the skydiving company would be the releasee.

Common Uses for California Liability Release Waivers in California

In the state of California, liability waivers may be used to target several prospective issues. The most common forms of liability waivers include:

Activity Waiver and Release

This type of waiver releases the entity providing an activity from legal claims brought against them. Typically, this type of release form will protect against lawsuits from the person engaging in the activity.

Many types of businesses whose services require increased consumer risk may use an activity-based liability waiver. Some companies that seek these release forms include:

    • Exercise studios and gyms
    • Rock climbing and bouldering facilities
    • Skydiving companies
    • Zipline course operators

These waivers help businesses avoid the legal ramifications of customer injuries and accidents.

Damage to Property Release

These liability waivers protect businesses and individuals against civil claims resulting from personal property damage. Many types of California companies rely on damage to property releases to protect their businesses, including:

    • Appliance repair agencies
    • Electricians
    • Plumbing companies
    • Residential and commercial contractors

Damage to property waivers ensure that businesses will not face legal liability from unforeseen damage to a customer’s property.

General Release of Claims

A general release of liability protects a releasee from many different types of possible civil claims. This waiver can be customized to shield an individual or organization from liability in a broad range of circumstances as specified within the document.

Motor Vehicle Release Forms

Motor vehicle liability waivers offer protection from civil claims due to harm related to motor vehicle crashes. For example, a limousine service may have riders sign a motor vehicle liability release to protect the company from damages in the event their passengers are injured in a collision.

Mutual Releases

A mutual liability release may be used to settle a dispute or potential dispute between two or more parties. Those in professional relationships may find themselves in a situation in which it is beneficial to all parties to waive certain legal rights.

Personal Injury Releases

Personal injury-centric liability waivers protect releasees from damages caused by accidents that may result in personal injuries. Certain venues or retail businesses may specify exemption of personal injury in liability waivers to protect themselves from harm related to mishaps that occur in their spaces. Similarly, a manufacturer may require a personal injury release to prevent legal action for injury caused by use of its product.

Liability Waivers in California

Before you sign or rely on any release form, it is critical to understand what is distinct about California waiver laws. is here to help you draft legally enforceable liability waivers that meet California’s unique requirements.

Under California law, waivers can only protect businesses and entities against the outcomes of ordinary negligence. In other words, release forms cannot protect against the consequences of intentionally wrongful actions, recklessness or gross negligence.

California waivers are also required to be written in explicit and clear language. To be legally enforceable, California release forms must express all parties’ intentions and responsibilities in an unambiguous manner.

Waivers that rely on illegible or small fonts will be difficult to enforce. The same is true with release forms that include unreasonably complicated or obscure language.

Our website will help you create a simple, legally binding California liability waiver. offers free online templates of numerous California legal documentation, including liability release forms.

From San Diego to Los Angeles, from Fresno to San Jose, from San Francisco to Sacramento, and everywhere in between, California residents and businesses can easily create their own California liability waivers using the form above.