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Glossary of Commonly Used Legal Terms

We’ve assembled some commonly used legal terms to provide a better understanding of the legal world.

  • Apportion/Apportionment – Division into proportionate parts.
  • Arbitration – A private dispute resolution process where the parties agree to one or several individuals to decide a matter after receiving evidence and hearing arguments.
  • Attendant Care – Any assistance with activities of daily living (e.g. assistance with getting dressed, showering, meal preparation, moving about the home, taking medications, etc.) provided by a family member, friend, or a professional home health care agency. Attendant care ranges from supervision to hands-on, skilled care.
  • Average Weekly Wage – The injured employee’s gross earnings in the employment in which the employee was working at the time of injury during the 52 weeks preceding the date of injury. Shorter time periods may be used in this calculation depending upon the length of the employment and the days missed from work during the year before the accident.
  • Compensable – A workers’ compensation claim that can be paid out under a workers’ compensation insurance policy. A claim may be a compensable one when the insurance company accepts the claim or when the North Carolina Industrial Commission judicially determines the claim to be compensable.
  • Compensation Rate – The amount of an injured employee’s weekly workers’ compensation checks. It is 66 2/3 % of the average weekly wage figure.
  • Economics – Financial considerations applicable to a case.
  • Expert Witness – An individual with specialized knowledge or proficiency in a particular field that is relevant to a case.
  • Life Care Plan – A plan outlining the current and future medical needs, as well as the costs thereof, of an injured individual.
  • Medical Negligence/Medical Malpractice – An act or omission by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care and causes injury to or the death of an individual.
  • North Carolina Industrial Commission – The judicial body that makes decisions regarding North Carolina workers’ compensation claims.
  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits – Payments of weekly workers’ compensation benefits at the injured employee’s compensation rate for periods of time the injured employee is held out of work by a doctor or assigned work restrictions that an employer cannot accommodate.
  • Third-Party Claim – A civil claim for personal injury caused by the fault or negligence of another individual or entity.
  • Vocational Expert – A individual with specialized knowledge of earning capacity and the job market.
  • Wrongful Death – A civil claim arising from the death of an individual caused by the negligence or intentional acts of another individual or entity.

Attorney Mark Sumwalt

Mark Sumwalt is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina who has practiced law in Charlotte since 1981, primarily in the field of worker’s compensation. He has litigated hundreds of cases to decision all over the state and handled many significant appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, particularly in the area of attendant care. [ Attorney Bio ]

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$2.7
million

Recovered on behalf of a gentleman (plaintiff/client) who was working as a vinyl window installer on a metal ladder when the ladder struck a live electrical wire. Learn more.

$2.7
million

Recovered negotiated on the behalf of our client who was rendered a paraplegic due to a spinal fracture after falling from a roof in the course and scope of his employment as a construction worker. Learn more.

$2.5
million

Recovered for a construction worker from Texas who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury following a fall from a roof while working on a job site in Charlotte, NC. Learn more.

$2.4
million

Recovered on behalf of our client who sustained a spinal cord injury in the course and scope of his employment as a production worker in a manufacturing plant. Learn more.

$2.3
million

Recovered on behalf of the gentlemen (plaintiff/client) who sustained an injury when he slipped and fell on an icy ramp during his employment. Learn more.

$2.1
million

Recovered on behalf of a client who was injured in the course and scope of her employment as a nurse when attacked by a patient. Learn more.

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