How Colossus Effects Personal Injury Cases
Dr. Paul Hollern, Chiropractic PI Marketing
Typically, most of the insurance companies deal with personal injury cases use computer software to determine the value of car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases.
Most use a computer system called Colossus, which is reportedly used by more than 50 percent of the nation’s claims insurance adjusters. Many other insurance companies use a similar program.
The insurance adjuster inputs the data received from your lawyers, your medical records and the amount of your lost wages. Colossus then considers the severity of the accident and where the accident occurred (or where suit could be brought).
Colossus will give a higher value for a case in a venue considered favorable for accident victims, such as rural vs. urban.
Colossus and its progeny consider whether your accident lawyer has a history of successfully taking trials to verdict in your area or whether the accident lawyer simply settles all of his/her personal injury cases.
Both the computer and the insurance adjusters know which lawyers just settle their cases without even considering a trial if the offer is unreasonable.
This is one of many reasons why the quality of your accident attorney matters so much even if you intend to settle your case without filing a lawsuit or going to trial.
Colossus then specifically looks to your injuries as described in your medical records.
One of the most important questions is whether the injuries are permanent.
Colossus also gives higher values for objective injuries (broken bones, herniated discs) measured by diagnostic testing than soft tissue injuries.
It does give, however, values for muscle spasm (for which Colossus gives particular weight in cases without a defined objective injury), restriction on movement, radiating pain, anxiety, depression, headaches, dizziness, and visual disturbance.
Colossus also gives greater value in accident cases where the patient went to the hospital for initial treatment of the injuries immediately after the accident.
Colossus takes this information and generates a range of settlement values for that accident case.
While Colossus and similar programs do have some value, the problem with them is they cannot grasp the complexity of a human’s pain and suffering.
There is no computer that can ascertain pain and suffering or how an injury really impacted a person’s life. How much is it worth to not be able to pick up your newborn baby without extreme pain? There is no way a computer can answer this question.
This is why your personal injury lawyer must fully explain why your injuries are different or be prepared to file a lawsuit. When your accident lawyer files a lawsuit, the insurance companies will sometimes take a second look at the real trial value of the case, particularly when they know that the accident lawyers handling the case are willing to go to trial.
While Colossus cannot appreciate pain, suffering and the true impact of the injury on the victim, judges and juries tend to listen to and consider many of the factors that Colossus ignores because it does not understand them. It is only a formula.
Juries make distinctions on how much your case is worth based upon whether or not they think the plaintiff is an honest good person who has suffered as a result of their injuries.
Clearly, the true value of the same injury can vary widely. If your injury is a scar on your face, the value a jury will place on the scar is going to depend on the Plaintiff.
Sex, age, pride in appearance, all of these things are going to matter in determining value.
The same goes for ankle and leg injuries where the victim can no longer run. If you are a couch potato, the value is different for you than for the client who can tell a jury they ran a marathon or played soccer every week in the yard with their kids just two years ago.
These details matter to every juror but the computer tunes them out completely.
In reality, juries are in many ways the opposite of Colossus because juries respond to human pain and suffering. A jury may not award damages based on the nuances of a C4/C5 cervical (neck) herniated disc injury but it will award damages because Mom used to be a shopaholic for her three kids at Christmas time but now cannot get off a bench at the mall because her neck hurts too much when she walks.
A computer cannot understand this kind of impact and never will.
The very purpose of a jury in our legal system is to take these types of intangibles into consideration to render a fair verdict.
More on personal injury marketing can be found at Online Chiropractic Marketing Systems.com or call 813-480-1693.