When attorneys in New Jersey and around the country prepare personal injury cases, one of the first steps they take is often scrutinizing analytical data provided by companies that gather information about judges, lawyers, and lawsuits. This data is used to determine damages and formulate negotiation strategies, which is important because only about 3% of personal injury cases go to trial. This has created a situation where artificial intelligence plays a significant role in the way civil lawsuits are litigated, and some experts even believe that failing to use AI resources like Westlaw Edge, Lex Machina or Bloomberg Law is a form of professional malpractice.
A necessary expense
Gaining access to AI services can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, but this is widely seen as an unavoidable expense by attorneys who face insurance companies at the negotiating table and in court that have access to the information they provide. This information can reveal how the judge assigned to a lawsuit has ruled on important issues in the past and whether the attorneys involved have handled similar cases.
Insurance companies also use information from AI databases to prepare for personal injury disputes. Some insurers have developed their own software, but most access a database known as Colossus. This information is often used to calculate settlement offers made to motor vehicle accident victims. Factors the AI uses to place a dollar figure on injuries include:
• The severity and extent of the injuries
• The impact the injures are likely to have on the accident victim’s future income
• The amount of time the injures prevented the accident victim from working
• The cost of ongoing medical treatment and physiotherapy
• The accident victim’s age and income
If you are injured in a car accident and are offered a settlement by the other driver’s insurance company, you should ask to see the figures that were used to calculate the amount of the offer. You could then compare these figures to your medical bills and lost income to determine if the offer is fair. If you feel that the offer is unfair, you could choose to pursue a lawsuit.