Computer Programs Used by Insurance Companies Shortchange Virginia Car Accident Victims
When you file a claim with an insurance company after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, the offer you receive may not be from a human being. Insurance companies have used computer software programs to calculate a settlement value since the 1990s. Computer programs used by insurance companies often shortchange Virginia car accident victims.
The most well-known program is called Colossus. It has been used by insurance giant Allstate for more than 20 years. It was brought in to standardize claims. However, critics say it also drives them down and can even identify the lawyers who are less likely to file a lawsuit.
In 2010, Allstate settled a complaint brought by 45 states against Colossus. The lawsuit found inconsistencies in the way the software was used amid fears car accident victims were being systematically under-compensated for serious injuries, reported Insurance Journal.
How Does Colossus Value Claims?
Colossus contains about 600 injury codes relating to the different types of injury that a car crash can cause. It allocates a severity value. The codes are used to give a number to pain and suffering in a car accident or another personal injury claim. It tends to oversimplify things and ignores the codes used by hospitals to identify injuries. The system can consider the jurisdiction a claim is filed in. For instance, it may weight up the chances of a high payout in Portsmouth against Virginia Beach where juries can be more cautious. It will even consider the likelihood of a given attorney taking his or her client’s case to a trial.
What Are the Dangers of Computer Programs Used by Insurance Companies?
The Consumer Federation of America issued a scathing report about the risks of computer programs used by insurance companies. It warned people who suffered injuries in car accidents often receive unfairly low offers when an automated computer system is used.
Some insurance companies even tuned their computer systems to generate savings without properly examining each claim.
The Federation stated it’s important for people who file bodily injury claims after car accidents to ask if the insurer used a computer to calculate their settlement.
Secondly, they should ask the insurer to give the range of possible settlement options generated by the computer and not accept anything less than the high end of the range. The report warned some insurers fine-tune systems like Colossus so as the claim offers made are “low ball” to save the insurance company money.
Claimants sued some insurance companies such as Farmer’s, as well as Allstate over the application of the system, the report states.
How Widely Are Computer Programs Used by Insurance Companies on Car Accident Claims?
Insurance companies are seldom open about their methods. This can make challenging a claim extremely difficult without help from a legal professional. As well as Allstate other companies have used Colossus including Aetna and USAA. Although Colossus is the most well-known product, other systems used by insurance companies include Mitchell Decision Point and Claims Outcome Advisor.
Can Virginia Car Accident Victims Beat Colossus?
If you or a family member has been hurt in a car accident, you should be wary of dealing directly with the insurance company. The insurer of the driver who caused a crash will often offer a low amount of money early on in the hope of buying off a desperate car crash claimant. Taking quick cash is understandable. People who suffer injuries in car wrecks often lose wages, face high medical bills, and suffer depression and sleeplessness. However, taking a quick offer is usually a big mistake. Play hardball with the insurance company or hire an experienced VA car accident injury lawyer to do it for you. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we can take on the insurance company. We know all of the insurance company tricks and can spot a computer-generated offer. We offer a free e-book called The Best Book About Virginia Car Accidents and Injuries. Order it today or call us.