Usually, the lawyer doing the personal injury aspect will handle the property damages also. If suit is filed the two claims must be joined.
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Most reputable attorneys will resolve your personal property claim as part of the personal injury matter.
M. Todd Miller
Law Office of Todd Miller, LLC
1305 Southwest Blvd., Ste. A
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
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Most personal injury lawyers, like myself, understand that property damage is a necessary by-product of handling bodily injury claims. If my client's need assistance, I gladly assist them to that end. It is usually over relatively quickly in comparison to your personal injury case. However, I know other lawyers refuse to assist on property damage claims. Why? I don't know but I have certainly picked up some files as a result.
First, you have done the right thing by retaining counsel. These matters can be very precise, and required a experienced personal injury attorney to work through each legal issue. First, Property damage is usually handled by most attorney's that are simultaneously handling your personal injury claim. In your description of the case, it is unusual for an insurance company to pay on the property damage side of a case, while also denying liability. An Insurance company will most always pay at the same percentage that they believe their insured was liable for the accident. Now, if the 3rd parties insurance accepts full liability, it is very difficult to negotiate the value of your care. Usually insurance companies will go off the fair market value of the car in that specific region. Note, the insurance company is not using Blue-Book or Black Book value of your vehicle. Now, if you don't agree with their evaluation of the car, you could have the option of taking them to arbitration, but this can be very time consuming and probably not worth the time or effort. As to your personal injury claim, if an insurance company denies liability, your attorney has very limited options and most likely would be forced to file suit. The trial process would then leave it to the hands of a jury to assign liability. This could open the insurance company up to a bad-faith claim, which would require a separate law suit. I would highly advise you speak to your attorney and ask him his plan. As you can see from the responses from all these fine attorney on Avvo, you have a multitude of legal issues that need to be addressed by a competent aggressive attorney. Good luck.
This answer does not establish an attorney-client privileged. This answer is purely informative.
You need to have a meeting with your current attorney you have. You need to express to him/her how you feel about the situation. It may be just a misunderstanding, but you always have the option of hiring a different attorney if you are dissatisfied. In any event, you should talk to your current attorney first, because he/she may be actively working on your property damage side of the case and just did a poor job of communicating to you what is going on in the back ground.
Sorry you are stressed out, as a car wreck is never a pleasant deal. Best Wishes.
Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in the law firm of Pepper & Odom, P.C. Nothing posted here constitutes any attorney client relationship and is meant for educational purposes only. Office hours are 8:00 a.m till 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 601-914-9219 Facsimile: 888-456-2160 www.pepperodom.com
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