The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has issued an alert on insurance company practices that I think everyone should know about. The CFA is an association of almost 300 non-profit consumer organizations that was founded over 40 years ago to "advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education." According to their alert, many insurance companies use computerized systems to generate unfair, "low ball" offers for automobile bodily injury claims. That's no surprise to us - our law firm has been fighting this for years.
The CFA says that consumers should be extremely careful when dealing with insurance companies in regards to these claims. The systems that they use – the most common one being "Colossus" – evaluate only general damages for many injury claims. These general damages include things like pain and suffering. What they don't include, however, are "special" damages, like past or future wage loss. Therefore, the settlement offers the systems produce don't include a complete assessment of the actual costs related to bodily injury in a car accident.
These systems have been used for about 10 years, and concerns over their legitimacy have been raised in court against many of the country's largest insurers. It was alleged that the programs are designed to systematically underpay claims. A number of insurance companies, including Farmers, had to pay large settlements.
Our law firm has always stressed the following recommendation when dealing with insurance companies: Don't say anything and don't sign anything. If you're injured in a car accident, it's in your best interest to contact a lawyer right away. You can always contact our law firm for a free legal consultation – we can help you fight the insurance companies to get the money you deserve.
If you're interested in learning more, you can check out a report from CNN's Anderson Cooper on "The Three D's" of the insurance industry: Delay, Deny, and Defend.