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Does Texas Workers’ Compensation Cover Gun Injuries?

When the issue of workers’ compensation comes up, there are certain types of injuries that people usually think of first. Back injuries and repetitive stress injuries are often what people associate the most with getting hurt at work. While countless workers’ compensation claims are filed for those types of injuries, there are many other ways that someone can get hurt at work.

A recent example of an unexpected workers’ compensation claim involves someone who’s running for sheriff in Tarrant County. Although the incident happened a few years ago, the election brought it to light. During the course of teaching a concealed handgun license class in summer of 2013, this current candidate for sheriff was shot in the right hand. That injury required surgery, which was covered by a workers’ compensation claim.

Since this incident involves someone who’s running for public office, the main reason it’s receiving quite a bit of attention is there’s debate over whether or not the community classes the candidate was providing as police chief fell under the umbrella of doing his regular job.

A Much More Common Type of Gun Injury

According to accounts of the injury, the gun that was being used during this training session stovepiped. That term refers to a round not fully ejecting from a firearm. Right before showing how to clear the gun, a brass piece suddenly popped out on its own and the gun’s slide slammed forward, loading a live round and discharging it. This resulted in what seemed like the gun blowing up in the man’s hand.

Although that type of injury isn’t overly common, especially in a setting that can qualify as a workplace, there’s another type of gun injury that happens quite frequently. Injuries caused by nail guns are a leading cause of construction accidents. According to OSHA, over 37,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year as a result of nail gun injuries. This type of injury is so prevalent that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experience a nail gun injury over a four-year period.

While not every nail gun injury is serious, one problem with the prevalence of these accidents is they often don’t receive the proper medical attention they need. There are also a significant number of nail gun injuries that don’t get reported. If someone sustains a nail gun injury on the job, they shouldn’t feel the need to hide it. Instead, they should get the medical attention they need and report the injury to their employer.

A Houston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

If someone gets hurt at work by a nail gun or actual firearm, a Houston workers’ compensation attorney can help them get the compensation they deserve. And since the state of Texas doesn’t require employers to carry this kind of coverage, a knowledgeable Houston attorney can help pursue damages even if workers’ compensation isn’t available to an employee. And if you’re concerned about the cost of this type of attorney, it’s worth noting that most Houston workers compensation attorneys only take a percentage of the compensation they secure instead of charging an upfront fee.

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