Case Results

Personal Injury: $120,000 Recovery For Shoulder Injury

July 2016

Tonya sufferd a right shoulder injury at work when she tripped and fell exiting an elevator in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The shoulder injury required surgery and extensive physical therapy.  I pursued two separate (yet related) claims on Tonya's behalf.  First, we obtained proper medical and weekly financial compensation (temporarily total disability) for Tonya per a workers' compensation claim.  Second, we strategically pursued a civil claim against the owner of the building, and the elevator manufacturer.  

The Defendants aggressively defended the workers' compensation claim.  I spent considerable time fighting the insurance company to (a) ensure Tonya received proper medical care, and (b) protect her rights regarding her employment during the return to work process.  This "return to work" process is quite confusing and often leads to serious problems with workers' compensation cases.  I spend considerable time / energy counseling my clients regarding this process so they understand how we can best address the issue.  I believe many injured workers encounter problems with this return to work process because their lawyer is simply too lazy to spend the necessary time explaining the process completely. 

Tonya's civil claim faced significant hurdles.  The biggest problem was that North Carolina is one of the last remaining states to employ the law of "contributory negligence".  This law is very challenging for a case such as this.  I prepared our case from the start to face this hurdle.  I investigated the matter thoroughly by obtaining maintenance records, interviewing the DOL examiners, etc.  I was able to combat many of the insurance adjuster's arguments due to this preparation during negotiations.  

Ultimately, we obtained the proper medical care for Tonya.  While she was recovering, we ensured she received all the proper workers' compensation benefits.  At the appropriate time, we also negotiated a very favorable recovery of the civil claim.  Our hard work balanced many factors to place Tonya in a great position going forward.   

Practice area(s): Workers Compensation, Personal Injury

Christopher Shumate

Mr. Chris Shumate is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and worked various jobs while pursuing his undergraduate and Juris Doctor education, including several heavy manual labor and skilled trade positions. In his practice, Mr. Shumate often encounters circumstances where these prior experiences are helpful in representing you. Upon graduating law school from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Shumate joined one of the Carolinas' larger defense firms, where he represented a diverse set of employers and insurance companies in civil cases and workers' compensation claims across the Carolinas. Chris utilized this experience to obtain a working knowledge of the insurance industry, and build personal contacts used today in representing you. Mr. Shumate ultimately decided he wanted to focus his law practice on assisting those who have been injured, and doing so with the focus on a personal relationship that is uncommon in the bigger firms. Mr. Shumate's also has a passion for assisting those facing the challenges of the criminal legal system. By representing individuals in a variety of criminal and traffic matters, Mr. Shumate works to achieve the best possible result for each client regardless of the charges levied by the prosecution. Chris has tirelessly pursued his mission of helping people from all walks of life throughout the Carolinas with a variety of legal matters. If you are interested in learning more about Chris Shumate and The Shumate Law Offices, please contact us at 704.371.5059. We look forward to assisting you to achieve a positive result in your legal concern. Education J.D., University of South Carolina B.S., University of South Carolina Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice N.C. State BarS.C. State BarU.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina Professional & Bar Association Memberships N.C. Bar Association S.C. Bar Association Mecklenburg County Bar N.C. Academy Of Trial Lawyers American Association For Justice