Injuries Happen When You Least Expect

Our Personal Injury Attorneys help you recover

Injury & Disability

Our personal injury attorney Kim Carpenter, assists people suffering from injuries due to accidents, due to the negligence of others, those that happen on the job, and to those with disabilities.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Law is a broad categorization that refers to nearly enumerable ways a person might be injured as the result of the actions or negligence of another. If you have been injured in an accident, whether in a car, on a boat, or on someone’s deck, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Recovery of damages for your injuries must be predicated by proof that a specific person or entity was liable and that your injuries were caused due to negligence.While subject to different rules for recovery, on the job injuries also fall into the category of personal injury law. Workers’ compensation law is meant to ensure workers do not suffer financially during pendency of their medical care and recovery. To receive benefits under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act, you do not have to prove your employer was responsible or negligent, only that your injury happened while at work. Because your injury occurred at work does not mean that a person or entity does not have liability in a separate civil personal injury action, only that your medical expenses and lost wages, for the most part, will be covered or reimbursed.

Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in acquiring fair compensation for victims in personal Injury lawsuits. We utilize aggressive negotiation and tools like mediation to settle your case without the necessity of trial. For those matters that cannot reach conclusion through negotiation without court determination, Attorney Kim Carpenter is experienced and successful in trial representation. Call Carpenter & Guy to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury. Your consultation is free. Our fees are contingent on recovering damages on your behalf.

Car, Motorcycle & Trucking Accidents

 

While a variety of causes result in claims for personal injury, the majority of claims for bodily injury arise from motor vehicle accidents. The unfortunate truth is that most of us have been or will be affected by a collision accident at some point in our lives. And, it is a widely held belief that victims of auto accidents are compensated for their damages by the negligent driver’s insurance. Generally speaking, it is not that simple. While the driver of the other vehicle may be responsible for injury and damage you sustain in an auto accident, it is their insurance company you may have to battle to be compensated. Despite advertising depicting insurance companies as public service agents, the simple fact is that insurance companies operate for one reason: profit. For an insurance company, profit is only possible when premium income exceeds the costs of claims. Profit cannot be obtained in an atmosphere where claims are readily paid. Insurance companies are exceedingly good at turning profit. The pivotal issue in any claim for damages and compensation following an automobile accident hinges on the insurance company’s determination if the policy covers the circumstance of the accident. Even if coverage applies, an insurance company will only pay if it is in its best interest to do so (settlement) or is required to do so by a court. Rarely do insurance companies provide claimants with good faith offers without the benefit of an experienced personal injury lawyer negotiating on your behalf. Injury and negligence laws are complex. In North Carolina, laws exist that allow insurance companies a loophole through their responsibilities if you have any fault – no matter how minor – that contributed toward your injuries. This is called contributory negligence. A primary example of contributory negligence may be that injuries sustained in an automobile accident were exacerbated by the no-fault driver’s failure to wear a seatbelt, thus contributing to the severity of injuries sustained. An attorney versed in the elements of personal injury law will understand the finer points of contributory negligence and can productively negotiate on your behalf. Because our laws make personal injury claims so complex, matters like these require the attention of a skilled and experienced trial lawyer. Attorney Kim Carpenter has extensive experience representing people injured in accidents. Call to schedule a consultation regarding your accident injury today. Consultations are free.

NC Workers' Compensation

Throughout the country, there are a specific set of rules that govern how claims made by people injured on the job are handled. Workers’ Compensation laws are intrinsically different from laws governing other types of personal injury. Many times work related injuries intersect with negligence of third parties, as do the rules under which these different types of claims fall. It is important for injured workers to seek the guidance of a Workers Compensation attorney who is experienced in all types of injury claims.

Workers’ compensation is a legal system established to manage medical and disability benefits available to people injured on the job, whether by accident or as a result of disease related to their occupation. In our state, on the job injuries are governed by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act through the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The Act’s stated purpose is to provide “swift and certain” remedy to injured workers. This differs from other types of injury compensation claims in that workers do not have to prove that their employer was at fault in any way, only that their injury occurred during the course and scope of their employment.

There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits falling into two categories: medical compensation and disability. Medical compensation covers an injured worker for necessary medical costs, including hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits and medications, as well as mileage reimbursement for travel incurred in acquiring medical care. Where catastrophic injury is concerned, medical compensation may also include nursing and attendant care.

Disability benefits, on the other hand, are payments made directly to the worker for lost wages or permanent impairment. Disability payments are made at the rate of two-thirds of the worker’s wages prior to injury for the period a person is unable to work. Sometimes, injured workers are able to return to jobs with lower pay scales before they are able to return to full duty. In this event, an injured worker is entitled to temporary total disability payments (TTD), which are equal to two-thirds of the difference between pre-and post injury wages. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are for injured workers suffering permanent injury. These benefits are based on a permanent impairment rating assigned by an injured worker’s treating physician. Total and Permanent Disability is available to workers who cannot return to work, as are death benefits for families of workers who are victim to fatal work-related accidents.

Rules governing recovery under the workers’ compensation law is a complex process. Our workers’ compensation lawyers are seasoned litigators and experienced negotiators. They can help you navigate the process of acquiring benefits, as well as in other personal injury or negligence actions that may evolve from your accident.

We bring years legal experience to clients in Western North Carolina. Attorney Kim Carpenter has been representing workers injured on the job since 1996. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, or have acquired a disease or medical condition secondary to your employment, call Kim for your consultation today.

 

Industrial Accidents

 

The term “industrial accident” generally brings to mind catastrophes harmful to the public at large, conjuring images of oil spills and refinery explosions. In legal terms, however, industrial accidents are not necessarily related to large scale events, or even to industries like mining, which are universally considered inherently dangerous. While significant risks exists for people working with volatile chemicals, explosive materials and heavy equipment, industrial accidents – as separate from workers’ compensation claims – can refer any situation in an industrial setting where a third party may have contributed to a worker’s injuries.

Many times, accidents are just that – unforeseen incidents caused by circumstances normal to the work environment. North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides for workers injured in these types of accidents. Industrial injuries caused through negligence, whether by defective or poorly maintained equipment, improper training, or failure to warn of known dangers, require complex legal analysis involving elements of workers’ compensation, negligence and liability law.

Some of the most serious workplace injuries occur in the industrial setting. Traumatic injury to the brain, the spine, and from burns are among the many risks faced by workers in industrial settings. Industrial accidents in factories, at warehouses, and on construction sites can produce catastrophic injuries to workers. When injuries from industrial accidents occur, victim workers need an attorney experienced in catastrophic industrial injury and workers’ compensation law.

Matters like these require the attention of a skilled trial lawyer. Attorney Kim Carpenter had extensive experience representing people injured in industrial accidents.

Call to schedule a consultation regarding your industrial-related injury today. Consultations are free and fees are contingent on the success of your case.

 

 

Social Security Disability

 

Social Security Disability is a subsistence benefit paid to people who cannot earn a living wage because of a disability. It is a federally-based insurance funded by your income taxes. This benefit is intended to supplement the incomes of physically and/or mentally disabled individuals for the duration of their disability, whether it be long or short term.

At Carpenter & Guy, our attorneys can help you acquire Social Security Disability benefits if you are disabled due to an injury, a medical condition, or a physical or mental incapacity. We have decades of experience representing disabled individuals before the Social Security Administration.

About Benefits
The average SSDI recipient in 2015 received $1,165, with most receiving between $700 and $1,700 a month. The formula for benefits is based on your earnings over a lifetime and the taxes you have paid in the form of FICA withholdings. Factors that influence payments outside of this include literacy (or lack thereof), higher education, blindness, and age of the applicant.

About Claims
The process is complex and discouraging. The average timeframe for benefit acquisition is 36 months from the date of initial filing, but because the process is so arduous, many applicants stop the process at their first denial. It is commonplace that most claims for Social Security Disability benefits are denied when filing for the first time. In fact, the denial rate is approximately 90% for all first time applicants. Do not be discouraged by this. The process is geared toward and reliant upon your frustration and discouragement to continue the process.

Starting Your Claim
The first step in the process is to file a claim. This can be done online (https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib) or by calling to set up an appointment with a Social Security Office Interviewer:

  • Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
  • Asheville: 1-866-572-8361
  • Hendersonville: 1-866-964-5053
  • Franklin: 1-866-562-0738

Your application will be assigned to a claims examiner. The examiner will acquire and review your medical records and may schedule an appointment with a physician retained by the Social Security Administration to examine you. The examiner will then “test” your record against a rigorous set of guidelines. The examiner has no independent discretion whatsoever. The examiner will most likely deny your claim in writing. This denial of your application can take up to 6 months before the appellate process can begin. It is at your first denial that you should consider retaining an attorney to help you obtain your disability benefit.

Your Appeals
Your first “appeal” is for reconsideration. Your claim is assigned to a new claims examiner who process your claim based on identical circumstances to your first claim review. You can expect the same outcome. The newly assigned claims examiner also has no independent discretion. The reconsideration process takes up to 6 months to complete, and you will probably be closing in on a year in the claims process.

You are permitted a final appeal from the reconsideration denial to an administrative hearing judge. The administrative hearing judge has discretion to consider the evidence of your disability from a holistic perspective, instead of the individual guideline criteria followed by the claims examiners. Essentially, this is a trial of your benefit request. At this juncture, most applicants will receive disability benefits. Still, this process of will take an additional 12-18 months to complete. All timeframes are wholly regulated by the Social Security Administration.

The attorney you hire will serve as the appellate counsel for SSDI applicants. We’re an experienced team of social security disability lawyers who will explain the appeals process to you in detail and assist and support you through the next steps. We offer free consultation. There is no upfront cost or fee, as our compensation is contingent on your successful receipt of benefits and is federally mandated and regulated. You can get the help you deserve, no matter your current financial situation.

 

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828-339-1010

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559 West Main Street
Sylva, NC 28779

Office Hours

MONDAY – THURSDAY
8:30 AM –  5 PM,  Closed 12 – 1 PM

FRIDAY
8:30 AM – Noon,  By appointment only 1-4 PM

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Serving the counties of Jackson, Buncombe, Haywood, Macon, Swain, Graham, Clay, and the towns of Sylva, Murphy, Waynesville, Franklin, Bryson City, Hayesville, Robbinsville and the Cherokee Qualla Boundary.

Carpenter,Guy & Arnold