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Principal Receives Workers’ Compensation for Gunshot Injury

Workers’ Compensation Benefits are benefits that are paid out to an employee by their employer when they are injured in a workplace accident. If a beam falls on a worker while they are at a construction site, the argument for a workplace injury seems easy, but where the lines have become blurred, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be vital.

The situation involving a North Carolina middle school principal was one of those found in the grey area, where not everything was black or white. The principal was a passionate anti-gang activist and often cautioned students about the dangers of gang membership and offered mentorship to his students. The principal was shot last year when he was leaving school property. The gunshot wound caused severe injury to his face, requiring numerous surgeries and expensive medical treatment.

In a hearing to determine eligibility for workers’ compensation earlier this month, a deputy with the Industrial Commission ruled in favor of the principal. Despite the argument made by the school that the shooting did not happen during the course of the school day or on school property, the official determined it to be a workplace injury. The factors he cited included the school system’s decision to pay the principal a travel allowance and the fact that the shooting occurred only two days after an anti-gang rally in which the principal offered to help students leave gangs.

“It’s just unfortunate we had to take this route to get the help I need,” the principal stated. “I really feel like my school system, my employer, let me down on this. They left me hanging.”

Source: The SunNews.com “Principal gets workers’ comp after shooting” 12/29/10

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