The TV ads are wrong: You’re not necessarily in good hands with insurance companies. In fact, when you’re injured an insurance company may try to minimize your claim by using a secretive computer program called Colossus.
Its cold calculations determine how much your insurer will offer to settle your injury claim. But Colossus is designed to help the insurer, not the claimant, and its use stacks the deck against you.
How can you fight this? Get an experienced and knowledgeable human being on your side to stand up against the insurance companies’ Colossus computer program. Get a car wreck lawyer or injury attorney from Jim Adler & Associates — and don’t let Colossus undercut injury claims.
You may be wondering “How does Colossus work?”
First, you should know that Colossus is computer software designed by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) of El Segundo, CA. It’s used secretly by over 300 insurance companies — including two-thirds of the top 20 — and by over half of the nation’s claim adjusters, none of whom will admit using it.
Next, know that Colossus isn’t designed to help you. It’s designed to help insurers keep your money by minimizing your claim.
For one thing, the insurance adjuster enters limited data into the program — mostly written medical records — while subjective elements such as your pain and suffering are dismissed. Then the program crunches numbers to minimize your claim.
Your own information about your case isn’t even considered, since it constitutes “self-evaluation.” Do insurance companies mention that in their ads — or the fact that most clients must engage an injury lawyer or risk getting just a small fraction of what they’re due? Of course not.
Without an injury lawyer’s help, individuals must face Colossus, a machine which turns them into a number. Insurance adjusting was bad enough before Colossus, but now it’s turned into a simple data entry process with no regard for human suffering, pain or feeling.
Does this save insurance companies money — and cost their clients? It certainly does.
As an example, the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office reports that Farmers Insurance paid $1.13 in insurance claims for every dollar it collected for auto insurance in 2000. But the next year, upon using Colossus, the payout plummeted to 87 cents per dollar. This led to a claim of insurance fraud and payments to the plaintiffs.
As for the types of Colossus claims handled by the program, they are generally small to moderate auto injury claims. Many are what are called “soft tissue” cases which involve damaged tendons or ligaments perhaps as a strain, a sprain or a contusion.
Colossus also may consider worse injuries such as bruised ribs, broken bones, herniated discs, a strained back, a pinched nerve or torn muscles.
Colossus does not consider severe injuries such as burns, quadriplegia, spinal cord injury, scarring, loss of a sense or brain injuries. It also does not consider wrongful death claims. Such claims continue to be handled via traditional insurance adjuster methods.
But make no mistake: Colossus is replacing traditional insurance claim adjusting. In fact, it has simplified adjusting so much that many insurance adjusters don’t need to have a college degree — or any background in personal injury, medicine or insurance. They simply feed limited data into a computer program which spits out a settlement figure.
However, even soft tissue cases have value, or “value drivers,” such as headaches, nausea, radiating pain, dizziness, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression and restriction of movement, such as a stiff neck. Such things may not be considered by Colossus in evaluating your claim, but they are quite real.
So, how do you fight Colossus? First, give yourself a better starting position with an insurance company that uses Colossus by making sure that your injury documentation by health care providers is thorough, specific and complete.
Insist that all treatments are recorded in writing by your healthcare provider, since that’s almost all that Colossus will rely upon to come up with a settlement range. Everything should be written down — everything.
Indeed, poor injury documentation is the biggest reason Colossus undervalues claims, since the only thing it considers is documented information from health care providers.
You will likely disagree with a Colossus evaluation of your insurance claim. Then you can proceed with your case with help from an experienced injury lawyer, as from Jim Adler & Associates. He or she can help you make a settlement claim and, if the insurance company’s offer is not to your satisfaction, you can take your case to court as a lawsuit.
Then, actual human beings — a judge or jurors — will hear and decide your case. They will consider far more information about the severity of your injury, its costs and its aftermath than Colossus ever did.
Rest assured, a judge or a jury’s members, not Colossus, will determine your settlement in trial, superseding anything Colossus might claim.
But you will need an experienced car accident lawyer to present all the evidence which favors your claim — evidence which can go far beyond the meager amount of data that insurers feed into a computer so Colossus can undercut your injury claim.
Notify our law firm today to get a free legal consultation about your injury claim. We can help you to overcome the colossal disservice insurers impose on clients by using the computer program Colossus.