Question on Duties Under Duress and Loss of Enjoyment of Life

We recently received an inquiry by a super-user of Settlement Intelligence, asking a question about why there are limitations on the categories of losses.  We felt that the question and answer to this inquiry helps lawyers better understand our method. Here is the answer from Settlement Intelligence President Aaron DeShaw.

User Question:

The Duties [Under Duress claim options] are decent but Loss of Enjoyment of Life needs to be more realistic than Washing Windows and Maintaining Cars. Who washes windows for fun? What person after a car wreck is enjoying to take care of their vehicle? Most people are afraid to get in a vehicle let alone do it for fun. Add – Exercising, Hanging out with Friends, Going to Restaurants, Concerts, Movies, Festivals…something actually fun.”

Settlement Intelligence Answer:

The categories and sub factors for both Duties Under Duress and Loss of Enjoyment of Life were set by the original programmers of the programs.  We have the original programming notes for Colossus (the same team that later programmed Liability Navigator), and then confirmed the factors in subsequent claim manuals that verified the sub factors for certain claims.  Unfortunately, Duties Under Duress has only four factors and specified sub factors for those four categories. They are in the Duties Under Duress forms created by Aaron DeShaw that are now free to licensees in the Settlement Intelligence dashboard.  

The same is true for Loss of Enjoyment of Life claims.  There are only six categories.  One of those is “Hobbies” which can include social activities, and “Sports”.  Those only have specified categories, but they include much of what you are wanting to add.  Please add claims in Settlement Intelligence for Loss of Enjoyment of Life for Hobbies and Sports. 

Again, the insurance bodily injury software systems (such as Colossus, Liability Navigator and ClaimIQ) are definitely not perfect.  And, it does leave the insurer subject to bad faith due to their failure to provide settlement value on certain types of losses.  Our advice is include those additional losses under those headings.  

Settlement Intelligence is set up to seek and gather the information we know to be of value in a claim based upon what the software will accept.  We are intentionally not asking for facts of a claim that are not provided value in the software because we have strong evidence it will not be counted.  That does not prevent you from adding additional facts within the generated demand letter Word file if you believe it will support a future bad faith claim due to the insurer's failure to add value for that loss.

Ultimately, the method used by Settlement Intelligence directly addresses the facts and factors provided value by insurers, and attempts to minimize content that is of no value to claims. 

This article is by Settlement Intelligence President, Aaron DeShaw.