Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Jones Firm is a unique law firm that was founded on several guiding principles: trust, service, and creativity. Each client allows us a lot of trust when they engage our services and we honor that trust through a client-focused manner of practicing law and reaching our client’s goals. Our firm is premised on serving each client’s needs from the initial meeting and throughout the claims process. Dax Jones will meet you for the initial meeting at a location convenient to you, he will personally answer your questions throughout the claims process, and he will ensure that his staff is attentive to your needs as well. Respecting you as a person not seeing you as a client file allows Dax Jones to use his decade of experience in trial, arbitration, and settlements to create options that others may not see, which can make a sincere difference to you, the level of treatment you can receive, and how your claim is viewed by the insurance companies when the settlement phase begins.
Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about the benefits of hiring an attorney and about the complex independent medical examination (IME) process.
1. Should I talk to an attorney?
Yes, because you need to know your rights.
- Did you know that you are free to have the damage to your vehicle estimated and repaired at a shop that you trust and that you choose?
- Did you know that a computer system most likely will be used to place a value on your injuries, pain and suffering?
- Did you know that you are entitled to Personal Injury Protection of at least $10,000 if the insurance company cannot produce your written waiver of coverage? (Personal Injury Protection covers medical bills, lost earnings and essential services.)
2. How much will it cost me to talk to an attorney?
The Jones Firm offers a complimentary initial consultation. While many attorneys limit that consultation to 30 minutes, it is our policy to extend that consultation to 60 minutes. During that time, we will answer your questions, review your claim and let you know all that we can do for you.
3. Do I need an attorney?
Yes, because you need to have someone on your side who knows the law and will help you avoid the many pitfalls that can significantly affect your injury claim. We will help you avoid those pitfalls, will prepare your claim in the best manner and will work very hard against the insurance companies to maximize your settlement.
We will also deal with the adjusters for you so that you don’t have that stress and can focus on your treatment, family, job and lifestyle.
4. What can an attorney do for me?
The Jones Firm will deal with the adjusters and legal issues throughout the claims process until you are released from care and regain the level of health you had prior to the accident.
The Jones Firm will work together with you to build your claim in a manner that provides the best opportunity to compensate you for all you have gone through. We will check in with you from time to time to monitor the status of your care, because a gap in treatment may negatively impact your claim. Additionally, once your care is completed, we will prepare a demand package that highlights your claim and provides the insurance company what it needs to efficiently evaluate your claim and fully compensate you.
5. How long does the claims process take?
There is no definite answer, as the length of your treatment largely determines how long the process takes. But, rest assured that once your care is complete, we will efficiently prepare a demand package that we will forward to the insurance company and will work hard to resolve your claim efficiently and for the maximum that the law allows.
6. How much money will I get if I hire an attorney?
As an attorney, I am prohibited from guaranteeing you a certain amount of money. But, I can assure you that we have the knowledge base and skills to prepare your claim in the best manner and will work very hard against the insurance companies to maximize your settlement.
7. Will I make more money with an attorney than without an attorney?
While the law prohibits me from guaranteeing results, I can tell you that all of my clients who have come in with an offer from the insurance company have left with much more money than what they were offered, even after paying attorney fees.
8. What is an IME?
The IME is an adversarial proceeding that is performed to limit how much care you receive from your insurance company. It is a two-part examination, including both an oral and a physical component. Initially, the doctor will ask you 15-30 minutes of questions regarding your injuries. This will be followed by a 5-10 minute physical examination.
9. Is the examination independent?
No. Though the insurance companies may refer to the exam as being an Independent Medical Examination, there is nothing independent about it.
Consider the following:
- The vast majority of doctors who perform the exams rely on a heavy stream of business from the insurance companies.
- It is not usual for the insurance examiner to earn $600 to $2,500 for the 30-45 minutes the doctor spends doing the exam.
- Some examiners admit to earning more than $200,000 annually in IME fees.
10. What gives the insurance company the right to make me see one of its doctors?
Hidden in every auto insurance policy is a clause that requires an insured to cooperate with the insurance company’s requests. In another hidden clause is a requirement that the insured attend a physical examination by an insurance company doctor as often as the insurance company reasonably requires.
Reading those two clauses together, the insurance company can contractually require you to attend an examination, which it can use to deny your bills.
11. Do I have any rights with regard to the IME?
Yes. Your rights are outlined in a set of rules commonly referred to as the WAC (Washington Administrative Code). The WAC sets obligations that the insurance companies must follow, thereby affording you rights. In brief, you have the right to have your reasonable and necessary medical bills and time loss paid, and very well may have the right to have future medical bills and time loss paid.
The Jones Firm prides itself on working hard for each client while finding creative and effective solutions to get the insurance companies to fulfill their obligations and also acknowledge the rights of the client.
Here is what we do for you:
- We meet with you and prepare you for the IME.
- We outline for you what questions to expect at the IME.
- We help you to know how best to honestly and completely respond to the questions.
- We point out common tricks used by the examiners so that you can avoid them.
- We may have a representative attend the IME with you.
- We may make an audio or video recording of the examination.
12. If I have an auto injury claim what should I do?
You should contact Dax Jones at The Jones Firm so that you protect your rights. We will work with you throughout the claims process and do all that can be done so that you get the care you need and the bills get paid.
Many people don’t understand how the insurance companies “think,” and unknowingly harm their claims.
For example, did you know:
- The Personal Injury Application must be returned within 2 to 4 weeks, and if it is not, the insurance company may set you up for an IME?
- Insurance companies strongly consider the amount of property damage to your car when they decide how much care they think you need?
- Having prior injuries to your neck or back may actually help you get the longer duration of care you need if you have a lower property damage injury claim?
13. What can The Jones Firm do for me?
We will work hard for you. Our goal is to handle the legal issues so that each client gets the maximum benefit from his or her insurance policy. We will also work hand in hand with you and your medical team in order to manage the legal issues so that you get the care you need.
A Bellevue attorney who cares as much about your case as you do
Contact The Jones Firm online or at 425.529.5956 in Bellevue. Attorney Dax Jones meets with clients wherever it is most convenient for them in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. The initial consultation is free and is NOT limited to 30 minutes, as it is at most law firms.