Alberta man creates web service to help those navigating personal injury claims

Painworth / Instagram

Mike Zouhri’s life was changed on Jan. 12, 2019 when he was hit by a drunk driver.

On top of dealing with the aftermath of the physical injuries, he also had to begin the legal process and said he was shocked to learn how “broken” it is.

Read more: Impaired driving charges laid in fatal west Edmonton collision

“Just the severe amount of dysfunction and frustration going through that process was palpable,” Zouhri said.

“It was really, really difficult to find adequate service, to feel like I was being treated fairly and, most importantly, to figure out how long the process might take or how much I could potentially recover.”

Read more: Alberta government imposing steep penalties but no charges on most first-time impaired drivers

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So he decided to do something about it. He created an online service called Painworth.

“I realized I could build a system that would read all the case law and then perform statistical models on that to tell me exactly what the range is,” Zhouri said.

“People will come to the system, they will sign up and then they will answer some very, very basic questions and, using the answers to those basic questions, the system will self guide the user through the process and also perform all the necessary calculations and adjustments, based off of case law.”

Alberta government imposing steeper penalties, but no charges on most first-time impaired drivers
Alberta government imposing steeper penalties, but no charges on most first-time impaired drivers

To date, his site has been involved in over $10 million in claims and only 40 per cent of those users had legal counsel.

Read more: Candlelit vigil remembers Edmonton and area impaired driving crash victims

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Zouhri says they receive thank you letters everyday.

“So many people are locked out because they have bad case economics or they live in a rural/remote community or in other cases they simply can’t afford the cost. This is a very small step to making civil justice completely accessible for everyone, but it’s a meaningful one.”