Will artificial intelligence begin taking over responsibilities typically held by lawyers and paralegals?
We’re currently living in what’s been dubbed “the fourth industrial revolution.” From 3D printing and self-driving vehicles to nanotechnology and quantum computing, a new wave of artificial intelligence (AI) has slowly began transforming the world as we know it. This massive evolution is revolutionizing everything, and the legal field is no exception.
As AI creeps into all business sectors, what can we expect for personal injury law?
Why Would Personal Injury Law Need AI?
Since the dawn of the 21st century, the personal injury field has rapidly evolved. Where file cabinets used to be filled to the brim with document after document, now Google Sheets and word processing docs have taken their place – while taking up a fraction of the space. Even evidence collected during the discovery phase has experienced a modern shift.
Clients now accumulate emails, text messages, social media posts, and other electronic documents for their legal team to sift through. As a whole, humans living in this digitally-fueled era are creating an estimated 2.5 exabytes of data each day. If you’re unfamiliar with “exabytes,” it’s likely because you’ve never needed to deal with a unit of digital information so large. One exabyte is equivalent to 1 million gigabytes of data – meaning today, our clients are creating nearly 2.5 million GB of data each day.
What does all this data mean? That while the personal injury field is brimming with talented legal professionals, AI can not only significantly reduce counsel’s preparation time, but also streamline client communication, case generation, and screening cases.
Data Mining Opportunities
Anywhere you turn, customer data is everywhere. Across the digital landscape, there are bits of information that can help personal injury attorneys better serve and better connect with clients by using tools like the personal injury calculator. Attempting to find all of this information manually takes days, weeks, and even months. Not to mention needing to pay a salary to an employer who would simply be scouring the Internet, emails, and documents for clues that could help build your business.
Data mining is a computing term which means examining large databases in order to generate new information. A firm could use AI technology to uncover opportunities for mass tort or personal injury cases by cross-referencing single-event personal injury cases with other medical records. Data mining allows your firm to better understand clients, and open opportunities that would not have been there before.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Communication ‘
Natural Language Processing, more commonly referred to as simply NLP, is what powers the Siris, Alexas, and Google Homes of the world. NLP technology allows computers to interact with users via voice or text messages as if they were human beings. Of course, these are all powered by AI technology.
In personal injury law, the most common use of NLP technology is with chat bots. Personal injury practices utilize chat bots for a variety of reasons, including client outreach and customer care, such as answering questions or prompting a site visitor to complete a case evaluation form. NLP-powered chat bots can streamline the sign up process for new clients, giving a boost to business.
While AI technology cannot replace the talented men and women working in personal injury law firms, it can dramatically cut down on the amount of work they need to do each day. We’re talking about machine learning, a talent that AI technology has just about mastered. Machine learning gives a firm the ability to predict outcomes based on existing data.
For example, in a recent study, 100 lawyers were given the same 750 cases as one AI-driven program, and asked to predict the outcomes. While the lawyers were correct 67% of the time, AI was correct 82%. Of course, AI will not be able to take the place of a personal injury attorney, however, it can help predict success rate, screen cases, and process documents to increase firm efficiency.
Take the example of a client with 10 GB of emails, an estimated 30,000 documents. An AI-driven program can scan through all 30,000 emails, flagging almost 95% as irrelevant or non-responsive. This would leave only 1,500 emails for personal injury staff to review. If the attorneys or paralegals can review 40 documents per hour, it would only take staff 36 hours to scan the remaining documents. In comparison, a team without an AI program would have to complete a fully manual review, which could take over 800 hours.
As this digital age continues, and AI programs continue to streamline life as we know it, it’s time for personal injury law firms to join the band wagon. In short, AI technology can save firms time and money, and even bring in more business. Artificial intelligence may not be taking over responsibilities typically held by lawyers and paralegals, but it will certainly be making their lives easier.