Can You Sue With an App? (Yes. But Beware of Limitations)

Picture this. You’re injured in a fender bender and have slight to moderate medical repercussions – a broken nose, whiplash, a black eye, and bruises. Your medical and physical therapy expenses after you visit the doc amount to roughly $3,000.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is dinging around about paying you the entire amount you owe for medical expenses. They claim you are only owed $900. You need the full amount, and you need it sooner rather than later.

Do you:

  1. Contact an experienced personal injury law firm to fight for the maximum amount you are allowed by law including injuries, time out of work and potentially other expenses incurred?
  2. Download the new lawsuit app, DoNotPay, which claims it can bring a lawsuit on your behalf with a swipe and a download or two to try to get your medical expenses reimbursed?

 

DoNotPay App for Small Claims Lawsuits

The DoNotPay app claims to allow users to bring small claims lawsuits (up to $25,000) without the use of an attorney. Wait, what? An app that acts like a lawyer?

Yes and no.

It can help you sue by using a bot to read your case and then offers you general guidelines as to your next steps in the legal process. The app claims to allow users to sue in small claims court without having to retain a lawyer. And if you win your claim you keep 100% of the damages received. For now, the app is free.

 

What Type of Claim Can the Lawsuit App Help With?

The app claims that you may be able to sue for up to $25,000 for a variety of potential claims, including:

  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract
  • Un-refunded deposits
  • Consumer refund
  • Automobile accidents

 

How Does the Lawsuit App Work?

Here is how the app purportedly works. It asks for your name and address and the size of your claim. It then generates a demand letter, creates a filing, and helps serve notice of the lawsuit.

According to motherboard.com, the app walks you through the process of filing a notice of the suit. If you go to court, it will generate scripts you can use in court. A bot will ask you a few basic questions about your legal issue and use your answers to classify your case into 1 of 15 different legal areas. The app will then draw up documents specific to that legal area, and fill in the details. You print the completed document and mail it to the courthouse to establish that you’re a plaintiff in a lawsuit.

Who might use such an app? Some people do not seek a lawyer in small claims proceedings because it is either not permitted by law or because the amount of damages to be paid may not justify the cost of an attorney.

 

What Can an Attorney Do That the Lawsuit App Cannot?

Let’s take a closer look a typical car accident victim.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.3

The app cannot completely and fully understand all the nuances of a case. It does not review the case for accuracy, draw legal conclusions, or provide opinions about your selections of forms. I can tell you that no app can spot missed opportunities or offer the advantages than an experienced lawyer could.

CYA (cover your assets). From the very first phone call you will have with the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster, we can help. You will be asked to give what is known as a “recorded statement.” The recorded statement is designed for the benefit of the insurance company. You may think you’re being asked seemingly innocuous questions and not think much about your answers – until your answers come back to hurt you, and the insurance company claims you are to blame. Believe me, we have seen this happen often.

Click here for a true story about how the story can change just like that.

Keep track of medical care. After about three months of treatment, your injuries amounted to $3,000. But what happens if the impact that caused your broken nose began to cause you to experience chronic migraines six months down the road? What if a doctor says those migraines were not caused by the crash? Trauma can often beget more trauma later.

Take care of the paperwork hassles. The amount of medical and other paperwork, alone, that plaintiffs’ have to keep up with can be overwhelming – and is sometimes a reason people turn to us for help. Not handling it properly and within the strict timeframes of the insurance companies can often hurt a clients’ case if they don’t know what, when, or how to file correctly.

Fight for the maximum amount you are allowed by law. I cannot tell you the number of times when there seems to be little or “no” money available to pay a client for damages, such as in a case involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. That doesn’t stop us from seeking to try to find other income sources, such as second homes, cars, trucks, boats, and other non-exempt sources for funds. We routinely conduct thorough and meticulous research to try to piece together clues – reading between the lines, consulting with experts, and looking for that needle in a haystack that can sometimes yield an unlikely or alternative source of finances.

Personal attention every step of the way. As with any endeavor, there’s often a circuitous path from point A to point B. Life is full of twists, turns, and surprises – and lawsuits are no different. We strive to forestall any surprises to try to lift your burden at each step of the way.

An app cannot empathize with you, represent you in court, or negotiate a resolution.

If you are looking to handle your case on your own, we can help with that too. See our do-it-yourself personal injury booklet we wrote for injury victims who want to try to handle their claim on their own.

 

Our Contingency Fee2 Is Designed to Offer You Flexibility

Cost shouldn’t be a reason to resort to a legal app instead of potentially taking advantage of all the benefits a lawyer can offer. Our attorneys do not get paid an attorney’s fee unless you win or your case settles.2 Our Founder and President, James S. Farrin said:

If we don’t achieve a result for a client, we don’t get an attorney’s fee. I love that because — if we can’t get someone a result, I don’t want a fee. We’re not paid on the hours we work on the case or the time we put in. We have one incentive, and that is to get our client a result.”

We advocate for you in an effort to try to get you the maximum compensation you potentially deserve. Will an app call your medical practitioner repeatedly to obtain your medical records? Will an app review them for accuracy? Probably not. Will an app personally visit witnesses when necessary to depose them and take their statement? Will an app try to gather all the facts, and then some, in an effort to leave no stone unturned? Will an app return your calls and lend an empathetic ear?

 

Get a Free Case Evaluation from NC Attorneys

Our firm is comprised of experienced, legal professionals (and that includes our paralegals) who will strive to get you the best compensation you potentially deserve. If you have been hurt by someone’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin or call 1-866-900-7078.

 

3Insurance Research Council 1999