It is estimated that about 70% of all car accident claims get evaluated by Colossus.
Technology is everywhere. It has made its way into every aspect of most businesses. The software and applications used for various business functions have undoubtedly made life simpler in many ways. For example, they have enabled us to cut down on human error. Even in the insurance industry, software applications are used extensively, even for calculating claims. In this article, we will discuss a piece of software commonly used in car accident claims and how it may impact your settlement.
What is Colossus?
‘Colossus’ is software that Allstate and several other well-known insurance companies use to help their adjusters with claims evaluation by helping adjusters determine and evaluate their insurer and claimant losses.
While most insurance companies claim that the software is only part of their accident claims evaluation process, estimations reveal that around 70% of all car accident claims get evaluated by Colossus. Moreover, reports reveal that Allstate heavily relies on Colossus. New adjusters in the company generally do not have much leeway in deviating from the software. While technologically, it allows for a speedier claims evaluation process for an injured claimant who has suffered damage, experienced personal injury lawyers understand that this automation doesn’t always take all necessary factors into consideration.
The Shortcomings of Colossus
The software, like most software, evaluates claims based on pre-determined data inputs or points, and the more points, the better!
- A claimant generally receives more points if more information is provided in the medical records.
- Claims with high numbers of hospitalizations or admissions (not simply ER visits) get rated higher.
The problem with software is that it falls short due to its own data entry limitations. So, if a doctor does not list each and everything in the medical chart, the software will determine that a claimant was “less injured.” Similarly, an injured claimant with one hospitalization and many follow-up visits or rehabilitation visits to the ER will likely get lesser points.
Another concern with Colossus software is that it limits the entry of diagnostic codes to 7. Therefore, what happens if a doctor diagnoses an injured claimant with a brain injury and is entered as diagnosis number #8?
The software can also tend to classify diagnosis and injury types incorrectly. For example, it classifies leg fractures under one group. However, all leg fractures are different, with some being more complicated and requiring a longer duration of rehabilitation and different permanent outcomes.
Finally, the software is run by a computer. It, therefore, obviously lacks the human touch. It cannot determine or evaluate factors such as pain, suffering, emotional loss, emotional stress due to disability, effects of job loss, loss of ability to live a normal life, enjoy a sport, a permanent scar, etc. One small factor might be small for one person but might make a huge difference for another. These shortcomings can significantly affect the claims evaluation and the resultant settlement that the claimant receives.
Are Car Injury Negotiations Over When You Verbally Agree to a Settlement?
After a car accident, the at-fault insurer will be quick to offer you a settlement. You may think they’re doing it out of the goodness of their heart, but that’s not always the case. In reality, insurance companies are notoriously profit-oriented. Their bottom line is to make money. One way they do this is by offering low settlements to accident victims.
If you accept their first offer, you could get short-changed on your claim. That’s why it’s important to speak to an attorney before accepting any settlement offer. An experienced car accident attorney will know how to negotiate with the insurer to get you the full amount you’re entitled to under the law.
You Verbally Agreed to a Settlement. Are Negotiations Over?
Before we answer this question, let’s explain what a verbal agreement is. A verbal agreement is an understanding between two parties that is not written down. It’s often made when both sides agree to the terms of a deal, such as settling an injury claim.
Generally, a car injury settlement agreement is not binding until it’s in writing and both parties have signed it. Until then, either party can withdraw the offer at any time.
In some cases, however, a verbal agreement can be legally binding. However, this usually happens only if the verbal agreement meets certain requirements. For example, both parties must have a clear understanding of the terms of the agreement and must be willing to comply with them. Additionally, the agreement must be made in good faith and with the intention of creating a legal relationship.
A verbal agreement may also be legally binding if it was recorded. For example, if you and the insurance company representative discuss the terms of the settlement on a recorded phone call, this could be used as evidence in court.
Ultimately, the only way to know for sure if your verbal agreement is legally binding is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.
Can You Rescind the Offer After Signing a Settlement Agreement?
Unfortunately, once you’ve signed a written settlement agreement, you’re generally bound by its terms. This means you can’t go back and ask for more money, even if you later realize the settlement wasn’t enough to cover your damages.
There are some exceptions, however. For example, if the other party breached the contract or if you can prove that the agreement was signed under duress, you may be able to rescind the settlement.
How can an accident injury attorney help?
Our experienced attorney understands how Colossus works. We understand submitting a claims report to an insurance company known for using the software and obtaining a rightful settlement amount.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!