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A car accident results in a total loss and personal injury. Should my lawyer handle both or only the personal injury case? I figure that the benefit from the car claim cannot be improved by a lawyer. Let's say insurance is willing to pay 10K. And at the very high end a lawyer might get 15K for the same car. But then subtracting the lawyer's percentage (typically %33 to %40) I may end up with even less than the insurance was willing to pay directly.

In such a case is there an advantage to me by mixing personal injury with the total loss? What language should I use with the insurance company and the lawyer to keep the two claims separate?

I have heard that as soon as you accept insurance company offer for the car you are also accepting their offer for the personal injury. Is this true? How do I make sure that I am just accepting the car loss coverage, and not the personal injury offer?

If the two are to be combined is it reasonable to limit lawyer's percentage on the car loss to the amount above the insurance company offer?

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In virtually every case, the same lawyer would handle all damages from the same accident. The cases almost completely overlap except for the proof of damages, and the damages are paid for by the same defendant and defendant's insurer. Indeed, if the claims are not brought in the same case, the claims not brought in the first case are procedurally forfeited.

If the two are to be combined is it reasonable to limit lawyer's percentage on the car loss to the amount above the insurance company offer?

No. Usually a settlement or jury verdict won't even break out the claims separately.

I have heard that as soon as you accept insurance company offer for the car you are also accepting their offer for the personal injury. Is this true? How do I make sure that I am just accepting the car loss coverage, and not the personal injury offer?

The insurance company and defendant will almost never pay any settlement in exchange for anything other than a complete release of all claims of any kind. You are asking for a deal that will never be available.

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