What is Colossus and why do the insurance companies use it?
Colossus is a computer program insurance companies use to try to decrease the value of your claim. Colossus will not take into consideration the X-factors: stress, pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (relationship), inability to participate in the things that you enjoy most, or any number of other things that juries and even judges will consider.
Essentially, the problem with Colossus is that it cannot take the place of a person’s understanding of human suffering. A computer just cannot get that. Occasionally, this paradoxically helps clients because Colossus and similar computerized systems that compute approximate values for personal injury cases incorrectly assume that a specific injury had a greater impact on the patient than it really did. Sometimes we will get a particularly unsympathetic injured client who was not impacted a great deal by their significant injury. This client does better with such an unfeeling system. But more likely, the opposite occurs. There is no computer value that can ascertain the pain and suffering, how an injury really impacted a person’s life.
Accordingly, your accident attorney must adequately articulate why your case is different or be prepared to file suit and begin battle with the insurance company. Judges and juries listen to and consider many of the factors that Colossus ignores because it does not understand them. Missouri juries make distinctions based upon whether or not they think the plaintiff is an honest or good person who has suffered as a result of their injuries. Colossus doesn’t distinguish between a heroin addict and a priest.
In fact, Missouri juries are in many ways the antithesis of Colossus. A jury in, for example, the City of St. Louis, might not award damages for a L4/L5 lumbar (back) herniated disc. The medical terminology and the treating doctor’s explanation of the injury might not resonate with them. But that jury comprised of human beings will award money damages because the injury victim’s back hurts so much that she cannot hold her 18 month-old daughter without pain. No rules-based computer program is every going to understand that.