Many insurance companies rely on automated computer programs to decide how much they think your damage claim is worth when you have been injured in a car wreck. Using a computer program to determine settlement amounts simplifies the claims process for the insurance company.
But the computer program is not designed to work in your favor. It was developed to assist the insurance industry, your medical record of the injuries you sustained from the accident.
The amount the insurance company decides it should pay for your injuries is based on how the adjuster answers questions about you and your injuries. The computer compiles a summary of your claim and recommends certain settlement amounts.
Colossus is one of the leading software programs used by insurance company adjusters to determine the amount to offer in settling damage claims. Allstate began to use Colossus in the 1990s, and now most insurers use this program or a similar one.
How Colossus works — specific factors and “severity points”
An insurance adjuster collects information from your medical records and uses that to answer a computer questionnaire. The software program assigns “severity points” to different injuries and conditions. Severity points are one factor in deciding how much the program thinks your injury is worth.
Because the calculation of your case is based on data entered into a computer, it is important that your medical records contain a complete and detailed report of your injuries. You can assure your medical record is accurate and help your attorney make the best case for a fair settlement for you by addressing certain issues in each visit to the doctor.
Tell your doctor about all symptoms resulting from the wreck, even some that may seem minor. The insurance software program uses information from the doctor’s notes in your medical record to determine the severity of your injuries. Failure to tell your doctor all of your symptoms will result in an incomplete report in your medical record of the injuries you sustained from the accident.
At each visit, give your doctor an accurate and specific update on the status of any wreck-related medical conditions. It may help to keep a regular diary of your symptoms and the progress of your recovery. Take your notes with you to the appointment with your doctor not the injured party.
Tell your doctor if your injuries cause you pain when working or performing ordinary daily activities, including educational activities if you are a student. Performing work and personal duties while in pain is a factor used to calculate how much you are owed for your damages.
If your injuries leave you unable to do some things you could do prior to your injury, your physician may need to perform a permanent impairment evaluation. The inability to enjoy doing things you were able to do prior to the wreck is considered loss of enjoyment of life. It is another factor in determining how much the insurance company owes you for your injury.
Loss of enjoyment of life includes work, educational, and household activities, as well as hobbies, social activities and sports.