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Colossus and Allstate

I received this email from a personal injury lawyer in Maryland this morning:

I have an MIA complaint involving Allstate offered the number provided by Colossus and now, of course, refuses to produce any Colossus manuals, etc. Do you have some useful Colossus materials?

I don’t. Maryland’s bad faith law is new and it makes relevant lines of inquiry from Maryland accident lawyers that before would have been completely irrelevant including, as this email suggests, how Allstate values first party uninsured or underinsured accident cases. If any lawyer out there has anything that might be of use that I could pass along, will you drop me an email.

As a side note, the American Association for Justice ranks Allstate as the worst insurance company in the country (for consumers, at least). That may be true nationally, I don’t know. But I don’t think it is true in Maryland. I’d rather draw Allstate in a personal injury case in Maryland than I would a lot of other insurance companies. Name names? Sure, why not? It is Friday. I would rather have Allstate then Progressive, MAIF, State Farm, Unitrin, or GEICO.

GEICO is a new addition to my “better than Allstate list.” At some point along the way in the past three years, GEICO stole some pages out of that McKinsey & Co. report that told Allstate to put on boxing gloves and added a few pages of their own. Their in-house Maryland lawyers (Besok & Mullen and John Dahut & Associates) are good lawyers that are easy to deal with but we are filing too many lawsuits in GEICO cases that should have settled before a lawsuit was filed. The message for Maryland accident lawyers, as always: if the offer is not fair, encourage your client to file a lawsuit. Too many personal injury lawyers choose the path of least resistance of pushing to settle the case even when the settlement is not fair. This is the reason why the boxing gloves paradigm works.

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  • Hugh Meloche, Sr.

    You missed a step. “If the offer is not fair, encourage your client to file a lawsuit.” Normally, that might be good advice, but not in cases where Colossus has been used by an insurance carrier. Rather, the atty should put in some time to determine if the adjuster has all of the relevant information, and if it was input properly. Now, most adjusters won’t even tell you that they used Colossus, but there are ways to get around that. I have been an adjuster for nearly twenty years, have over five years experience in Colossus, and was a Colossus trainer for one of the companies I worked for. I also worked awhile as an independent legal assistant to various personal injury attys, lending my expertise to them and especially helping them structure their demand letters to make it easier for the adjuster to input the information, and to maximize the eventual offer. By simply deciding that an offer was too low and recommending a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s firm is doing a disservice to its clients, and running up its own costs unnecessarily. Dig. Talk to the adjuster. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Or hire an ex-adjuster to work on your non-litigated files, one who knows the language of Colossus, its strengths and its pitfalls. By doing this, you will be representing your clients to the best of your ability. By resorting to a lawsuit every time you get an offer you don’t like, without digging, you won’t.

  • Ron Miller

    I guess. The problem is that you rarely fail a client by filing a lawsuit. And I mean rarely. Because settlement offers almost invariably increase over the course of the litigation process.

  • Hugh Meloche Sr.

    You’re absolutely right. And the biggest reason settlement offers increase is because after suit is filed, someone (often the attorney) completes a new Colossus consultation, corrects any errors or omissions, and comes up with a better value. If you can get the Colossus consult reviewed for accuracy before filing suit, you could save time and a little money for your client.

  • manny

    i have a b.i. claim against geico their tellin me that since the only paid out 350 for a rim and a tire that my claim is bull sht.geico ins made illegal uturn slammed into me at 10 miles and hour i was goint about 25. nerve damage both arms wrist and tendon tear of the flexor extensor .geico claims low impact due to p.i. payout of 350.iwas slammed into wright smack on the rim hard.