Sometimes things in life happen that none of us have any control over. As frustrating as these moments can be, these experiences are often where new opportunities and business ideas come from. As many entrepreneurs know firsthand, great business ideas often begin as common painpoints needing to be solved.
Mike Zouhri—a Canadian serial entrepreneur—found himself in this exact spot. He had just been hit by a drunk driver and, from his hospital bed, was left wondering: what happens now?
After months of recovery, Zouhri finally began looking for legal services to help him. But—after visiting several personal injury lawyers—he was left feeling even more alone, frustrated, and lost with where to look for resources to help.
The Birth of a Automated Personal Injury Claim App
Instead of giving up hope, Zouhri decided to create a personal injury claim app to help others in the similar situation as him. This would turn into what today is known as PainWorth.
PainWorth is a legal-tech software tool that gives personal injury claimants the option to represent themselves and settle their own personal injury claim by automating all the processes and paperwork needed.
“I could see a clear path to build an app that could automate the entire legal process. I envisioned a way to start applying data science to make the legal process simpler and more objective—free of bias,” explained Zouhri.
Originally conceived for car accident claims, the PainWorth app now also works for medical malpractice claims, slip and fall accidents, assault and battery claims, and more.
What Sets Painworth Apart in the Legal-Tech Space
One of the biggest problems out there for anyone dealing with any type of legal matter is the fact that lawyers or litigation are not cheap. The personal injury settlement process especially tends to be extremely expensive and very time-intensive.
Painworth’s research found that personal injury cases can take an average of 5 years to make it all the way through the courts. Furthermore, a claimant’s lawyer often charges 30% of more of what the claimant is awarded.
Painworth addresses both of these issues by reducing the expense and time associated with settling a personal injury claim:
For example, PainWorth can help someone who just got hit in a car accident look up all the case law of similar accidents to theirs in seconds and see what the result of those cases were and what those cases garnered in terms of damage awards. This is a process that usually takes a legal team hours upon hours of time.
The Benefits to Personal Injury Claimants
By putting more information in the claimant’s hands, users of the PainWorth app are able to see—with full transparency—what type of result they might get if they were to pursue a legal claim.
For many users, this allows them to decide if the insurance company is making them a fair settlement offer. If the offer is fair, many users decide to accept the offer without getting any lawyers involved—this alone can save loads of time and money.
If the user feels that the offer is not fair, they can decide to continue negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company, or they can decide to start a legal case.
Many PainWorth users use the app’s built-in tools to self-represent themselves in court, but many others—now seeing the size and the complexity of their case—decide to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Whichever way the user decides to go: with PainWorth, they are able to get an estimate of how much a lawyer’s typical 30% contingency fee might cost them based on the size of their claim. This, in turn, gives them a never-before-seen ability to negotiate with their lawyer for better rates, before signing a contract with a personal injury firm.
Getting to a result faster and at an affordable price, makes Painworth an incredibly valuable tool.
Improving Access to Justice
For Mike Zouhri, PainWorth’s key mission is about restoring people’s access to justice.
As he notes, many people are locked out of the justice system altogether because the insurance companies simply won’t negotiate with them. For those who then decide to get a lawyer involved, many can’t even find a personal injury lawyer to help them because they’re told that their case is not big enough to be profitable for the law firm.
“PainWorth is giving personal injury claimants more power in a system that has often left them feeling powerless. It’s improving a fundamentally broken system,” Zouhri emphasized.
“That said, I see Painworth as a small piece of the puzzle, and a start to something even bigger. I want people to realize there is a better way. We all deserve access to technology that empowers us and gets rids of the bias experienced in today’s judicial system.”
The legal industry around the world is in dire need of innovation and Painworth is helping lead the way.