Millions of personal injury cases are settled in the US each year, few of which go to trial – but the vast majority are kept secret. This leaves lawyers guessing at what they should propose as a settlement price, often resulting in victims being undercompensated.
It’s what prompted Rami Karabibar to launch EvenUp, a startup that uses AI to generate legal documents to assess injury cases. Aimed at clients in the legal field, the platform seeks to turn raw records, including medical records, police reports, and bills, into letters advocating for proposed compensation.
“We are on a mission to level the playing field in personal injury cases,” said Karabibar, who previously worked in private equity, venture capital and venture-backed startups.
Karabibar co-founded EvenUp with Ray Mieszaniec, a two-time entrepreneur, whose father became permanently disabled after being hit by a car involved in a police chase. Mieszaniec’s family only received 10% of the average payout for those types of accidents – partly because their lawyer didn’t know what the proper compensation should be,
EvenUp aims to address all categories of personal injury, including motor vehicle accidents, police brutality, child abuse and even natural disasters. To do this, the third co-founder of Karabibar, Mieszaniec and EvenUp, Saam Mashhad (a former litigation attorney), built a database of private settlements — including hundreds of thousands of medical records — and trained an AI to estimate fair compensation on based on the details of each case.
EvenUp’s platform extracts the relevant information from documents and organizes them into “question packet” templates, which indicate the legal and factual basis for a personal injury claim and include a claim for damages. Designed as a self-service solution for attorneys, legal personnel, and law firms, EvenUp summarizes notes and copies of raw records into medical summaries “optimized for personal injury law.”
“The more documents and cases we see, the better we are at preparing demand packages, and the better we are at increasing case outcomes and reducing costs,” Karabibar said. “EvenUp reaches deeper into the legal workflow with a higher bar of accuracy than other AI assistants, from extracting data from raw documents, to valuing things of value, to generating final requirements packages that tie it all together. “
As Karabibar alluded to, EvenUp isn’t the only startup applying AI to the tedious — and monotonous — task of drafting legal documents. Lawyaw, which evolved from stealth several years ago, builds software to automate the process of amending standard documents such as NDAs and wills. Elsewhere, Atrium’s software digitizes legal paperwork and builds apps on top of it to speed up fundraising, commercial contracts, share distribution, and employment issues.
But EvenUp claims it’s one of the first to address personal injury — a jurisdiction that isn’t necessarily held in high esteem. So-called “settlement mills,” which charge between 33% and 40% of the total awarded award, settle a large number of cases without necessarily focusing on maximizing the value of each claim.
Mieszaniec suggests that EvenUp could change this by normalizing the practice of AI-assisted personal injury litigation.
“By harnessing the potential of technology, we can create a future where the pursuit of justice isn’t marred by financial pressures or the representation you have,” Mieszaniec said via email. “It is time to embrace innovative solutions that streamline the claims process, empower individuals, humanize the process and ensure no one walks away with a fraction of what they earn. That is why we built EvenUp: to level the playing field for personal injury victims.”
EvenUp appears to have won over investors, who recently pledged $50.5 million into the company at a valuation of $325 million (according to a source familiar with the matter). Bessemer Venture Partners led the final round, a Series B, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Behance founder Scott Belsky and legal technology firm Clio, bringing EvenUp’s total amount to $65 million.
But can the technology deliver on its promises – and address the outstanding legal and ethical implications?
With any AI technology, bias is a big problem. Algorithms trained on biased data can reinforce those biases and perpetuate existing inequalities and injustices. For example, a 2016 ProPublica Analysis found that a commonly used algorithm was twice as likely to misclassify black defendants as at high risk of recidivism than white defendants. You can imagine EvenUp’s AI recommending artificially high or low personal injury benefits due to imbalances in the dataset.
And what about privacy? EvenUp did not disclose where it obtained the medical and personal injury documents it used to train its AI — nor whether it took steps to notify the original owners of that data.
Again, that’s assuming the technology even works as advertised. If there’s an overarching conclusion from the generative AI boom, it’s that even today’s best AI algorithms are far from perfect. (See: Microsoft’s Bing chatbot that spews vaccine misinformation and writes a hateful screed from Adolf Hitler’s perspective.)
If EvenUp’s customers share these concerns, it’s not clear from their rush to adopt the platform. Karabibar claims that EvenUp counts “best litigators” and “America’s largest personal injury law firms” among its clients and that it is “almost profitable.”
Some are no doubt chasing the opportunity to reduce filing costs while maximizing returns. Karabibar does not deny this.
“Injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, earning a fixed percentage of the value of the case. Any increase in case outcomes directly impacts their revenue, while also increasing the amount customers receive,” he said.
But Karabibar also argues – rather optimistically, in my opinion – that automating aspects of the filing process could encourage litigators to “focus more on the human side of their work.” He‘s also careful Unpleasant suggest that EvenUp will not simply replace lawyers. But if you read between the lines a bit, it’s hard not to see how some paralegals, most of whom work on a contract basis, would find themselves without a job if the technology were ever widely adopted.
“They will be able to support injury victims through the legal process and advocate for the equitable outcomes their clients deserve,” he said.
We’ll see if that’s the case. In any case, EvenUp has broad ambitions, with plans for document generation in both the pre-litigation and litigation phases, adapted to each company, jurisdiction and case type. Karabibar believes that EvenUp will eventually be able to process 70% of the most important documents in the personal injury workflow.
“We are well positioned to continue to grow despite the turbulent economy, and we believe our products will only become more important as time goes on,” said Karabibar. “The drafting of legal cases has undergone a fundamental incremental change with the advent of generative AI. Legal professionals will need to adapt quickly to this change or be outcompeted by more tech-savvy competitors.”