Can a Computer Feel Your Pain?

Did you know that many insurance companies use computers to evaluate your pain and suffering after an auto accident?

That's right: insurance adjusters review your medical records for various key pieces of information (information that they think is key) and plug that information into a computer program that calculates the value of your injuries.

While the distastefulness of this can be expounded upon all day, insurance companies were never known for their good taste or their compassion. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and to do that they have to keep as much of their money as they can.

Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when it comes to impressing an insurance company's computer.

Most companies look at the number of visits you make to a physical therapist or chiropractor. Additionally, most companies note and input various types of data regarding the following:

  • Delays or gaps in treatment.
  • How often medications were used and which medications were used.
  • Preexisting injuries.
  • Subjective complaints.
  • Objective findings.
  • Permanent impairment issues and whether they are supported by the medical chart.
  • Charting by your doctors and whether there are supportive entries.
  • Your prognosis upon completion of treatment.
  • Type of treatment: medical doctor, chiropractor, alternative care provider, etc.
  • Diagnostic test results.
  • Whether your pain radiated or radiates to other parts of your body (radiculopathy).

Plaintiffs attorneys work to humanize you to both insurance companies and to juries. It may not be clear whether anyone can feel your pain but you. One thing's for sure, though: a computer doesn't.