- October 28, 2011
- In personal Injury
When an insurance adjuster starts to translate your personal injury claim into a dollar amount, there’s a good chance he’ll be using a computer program called Colossus to calculate the offer. One of Colossus’s primary functions is to reduce the value of personal injury claims and to lower insurance company payouts. An Orange County personal injury attorney with experience challenging settlement proposals generated by the Colossus program can help ensure that the value of your own claim does not get unfairly, artificially, and unnecessarily diminished by the other side’s electronic number cruncher.
The stated commercial purpose of the Colossus program is to calculate an appropriate personal injury claim payment based on the seriousness of your injury and the “reasonable” extent of your medical expenses. But Colossus also incorporates a range of factors that have nothing to do with your injury or your expenses in determining settlement offers. For instance, the program may take into account the litigation track record of your Orange County personal injury lawyer and how aggressively that attorney has negotiated previous client’s claims. It may also look at the jurisdiction in which your claim has arisen and the kinds of awards judges in that jurisdiction have tended to favor.
One way in which Colossus effectively downplays the severity of claimant’s injuries is by disregarding soft tissue injuries, which are the basis of most personal injury claims, classifying them as “subjective” rather than “objective”. The program also tends to dismiss the necessity of chiropractor expenses, which usually account for the highest bills in soft tissue injury cases.
Crucially, too, Colossus totally discounts the impact your injury has on your life in determining the value of your claim. If you are in pain, suffer from anxiety, or can’t do the things you could do before, these factors would almost certainly be weighed by a judge or jury that ends up considering your injury claim. But Colossus leaves them out of the equation.
Without an Orange County personal injury lawyer to argue about the injuries you’ve suffered and the effect these injuries have had on your life, an insurance company is more likely to let Colossus figure out the value of your injury claim on the company’s own terms and present that figure to you as a final settlement offer.
Your Orange County personal injury lawyer should know the game the insurance company is playing so that he or she may be able to credibly threaten to bring your personal case before a jury to determine the value of claim. Which is exactly what the insurance company doesn’t want. Because while Colossus might not assign any value to your pain-induced sleepless nights, your inability to play with your kids like you used to, or any of the other ways in which your injury has diminished your quality of life, these factors are often what convince a jury to award claimants considerably more than the amounts of their medical expenses.
When you need a capable, experienced to fight back against the Colossus on your behalf, contact Orange County personal injury lawyer Samer Habbas.