Many insurance companies, including Allstate, State Farm and Farmers, use a computer program to determine the value of injury claims. Some companies, such as Allstate, take the number that their computer program called Colossus spits out as the value of the claim giving no discretion to the claims representative negotiating the file. By hiding behind the computer, these insurance companies have made millions of dollars. If they can get away with underpaying millions of injured people by only $1,000.00 each, they earn billions of dollars.
The insurance companies have forced many claimants and general practice attorneys to take less than their cases are really worth. Insurance companies know that the difference between the true value and their offer may be eaten up in court costs and delay. Unfortunately, too many people give in.
Our firm, and some other firms specializing in personal injury, are prepared to take these cases into court. By taking the cases to court, we call the insurance company’s bluff. At trial, it is not a computer making a decision, but a judge or 7 fellow citizens. Real people are much better able to gauge factors like the credibility of the plaintiff. How believable and likable the injured person is makes a large difference in how much a jury is willing to award.
The five attorneys at our firm have taken over numbers of these cases from other attorneys who are not ready and willing to try them. Because we have the resources to take the insurance companies all the way to trial, we stand a better chance of getting full and fair settlement offers at some point in the process. The insurance companies know which lawyers are ready to take cases to trial and which ones are not.
Another thing we try to do is to develop systems to most cost effectively try cases. We do not skimp on paying the doctors to come testify and being prepared for trial. However, we use the rules of court to try to put on the evidence through affidavits or other methods to get the case tried as cost effectively as possible.
Although computers have improved Americans lives in many ways, some times they create an impersonal “big brother” atmosphere where a corporation can decide that the computer knows best. We hope to turn this around by making it expensive for the insurance companies to low ball clients, so that the companies start treating people like humans again.