Articles, Analysis,
and Commentary

Does the Insurance Company Use A Computer to Determine How Much I Get for my Personal Injury?

Many major insurance companies allow a computer to determine how much injury victims should collect. This may come as shock to many, but more than ten years ago, most insurance companies began using computer software to determine the amounts they would pay to a victim of negligence.

The maker of "Colossus" -Computer Sciences Corporation- realizes enormous profits [10 billion in revenue 10 years ago] and says of its product:" Your adjusters can quickly interpret medical reports and look up definitions of injuries, treatments, complications and permanent impairments using AMA 5th edition data. Through a series of interactive questions, Colossus guides your adjusters through an objective evaluation of medical treatment options, degree of pain and suffering, degree of permanent impairment to the claimant’s body, and the impact of the injury on the claimant’s lifestyle. At the conclusion of a Colossus consultation, a summary of the claim is provided, including a recommended settlement range"

While the notion that a computer is going to determine what your personal injury it worth to you may seem frightening - it gets worse.

The insurance company of course if free to not offer the 'Colossus number' if they think it is too high.

Not surprisingly, many victims of personal injury causing events, typically motor vehicle collisions have questioned the "objectivity" of the process.  More ominously, the 'Colossus number' can be artificially decreased by inputting incorrect or misleading information. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) a non-profit association of 300 consumer groups, reports  “…any insurer who buys a license to use Colossus is able to calibrate the amount of ‘savings’ it wants Colossus to generate…If Colossus does not generate sufficient ‘savings’ to meet the insurer’s needs or goals, the insurer simply goes back and ‘adjusts’ the benchmark values until Colossus produces the desired results.” citing “From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves – How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America,” Trial Guides, 2006, Berardinelli, Freeman and DeShaw, pages 131, 133, 135.

     -This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 2/22/19. 

I routinely try cases involving disputed issues involving the extent of loss from an accident, wherein issues of damages and proper valuation can become complex. I am honored to extend a complimentary meeting, strategy session and case analysis to you. Contact me today to arrange a time. 410 591 2835.  

Eric T Kirk
Attorney

After graduating with honors from Albany Law School in New York, Eric Kirk has spent most of his 25 year legal career battling insurance companies to secure fair and just compensation for his clients in Maryland, New York, and Florida.

410-657-5962