Colossus is a computer program that values traffic collision claims for at least half of the insurance claims in the United States.
Colossus was first licensed and popularized by Allstate in the 90s. Allstate turned to Colossus because they wanted to standardize claims. Allstate also turned to this program because it was billed as a means save money on payouts. The system also identifies those lawyers who will not file a suit and are willing to settle for the best offer that they can get.
There are two similar products widely used by insurance companies: "Claims Outcome Advisor" (made by Insurance Services Office) and "Claims IQ" (made by Mitchell International.) Mitchell also sells "Mitchell DecisionPoint," a similar software program that helps insurance companies determine if they should pay the doctor's entire bill in PIP/med pay claims.
How Colossus Values Claims
Colossus considers a number of preliminary matters before looking at your individual case. It considers whether your attorneys have a record of taking their cases to court if they get an inferior offer or whether they always just take the best offer given by the insurance company. It considers the jurisdiction in which the claim arises. Importantly, the program contains approximately 600 injury codes representing the various types of personal injuries that can occur. These injury codes have a "severity value" and assigns money for each severity point the plaintiff "earns", so to speak. It performs a calculation to attribute severity points to plaintiff's claims.
After consideration to the attorneys involved and the settlements and verdicts in the venue, the system counts up the points and computes a dollar value. There is no question that a big value driver for the formula - and for juries, incidentally - is a permanent injury. They at least get this part right.
By using this system, insurance companies will try to decrease the value of your claim, and will not take into consideration in its evaluation the X-factors: stress, pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (relationship), inability to participate in the things that you enjoy most, or any number of other things that a juries and even judges will consider.
Essentially, the problem with any data driven calculation is the that it cannot take the place of humans understanding of human suffering. A computer just cannot get that. These is no input for "unbelievable agony and horror."
Occasionally, this paradoxically helps clients because these computerized systems that compute approximate values for cases incorrectly assume that a specific injury had a greater impact on the patient than it really did. Sometimes we will get a particularly unsympathetic client who was not impacted a great deal by what happened to them in spite of the clear documentation of pain and hardship in the medical records. This client actually does better with such an unfeeling system.
But more likely, the opposite occurs. There is no calculator that can value the pain and suffering, how an injury really impacted a person's life. Accordingly, your counsel must adequately articulate why your case is different or be prepared to file suit and begin the real battle. Judges and juries listen to and consider many of the factors that this formula ignores because it does not understand them. Maryland juries make distinctions based upon whether or not they think the plaintiff is an honest good person who has suffered as a result of their injuries. Tragically, this program barely distinguishes between a heroin addict and nun. Juries definitely get the difference. Mathematical calculators don't.
In fact, Maryland juries are really the antithesis of these data driven programs. A jury might not award damages for a L4/L5 lumbar (back) herniated disc. The medical terminology and the treating doctor's explanation of the injury might not resonate with them. But that jury comprised of human beings will award money damages because the injury victim's back hurts so much that she cannot hold her 18 month-old daughter without pain. No rules-based computer program can computer that loss human suffering.
Making Colossus Even Worse: Insurance Companies
Many insurers take this flawed computer system and rig it further against plaintiffs by pulling out higher-cost claims from data that spits our the results. So if you are pulling numbers to put into the system, you pull out the outlier jury verdicts - which have an huge impact on averages - and large settlements that would increase the valuations.
It is classic "garbage in, garbage out" in terms of who the claims are valued. They also encourage adjusters with very little medical training to second guess the patient's treating doctor. Some adjusters are encouraged to alter important details of medical reports and select injury codes that will yield smaller settlement offers. The best way to do this is encouraging the adjuster to screw around with the final prognosis codes. The dynamic here is clear: a bad computer evaluation system is being engineered to give even lower results.
Do You Need Help Fighting for the Money You Deserve
If you are an injury victim or another lawyer fighting an adjuster spitting out a ridiculous offer from the computer, we will fight for you with zeal if we take your case. Call us 800-553-8082 or get more information about your claim for free without any cost of obligation.
Learn More About Dealing with Colossus and Allstate
- Inside Scoop on Dealing with Allstate [Learn More Here]
- The True Value of Your Case [Learn More Here]
- Demand Letter (sample letter requesting money damages by out-of-court settlement with the insurer) [Learn More Here]
- Personal Injury FAQ [Learn More Here]
- Sample Interrogatories from Allstate [Get Them Here]
- Deposition of an Allstate Adjuster [Learn More Here]
Lawsuits Against Allstate
Need a lawyer for a serious case? Are you a lawyer that needs some help? Call 800-553-8082 or get a free evaluation of your case on-line here.