These are some of the most common work accidents that can befall teachers and their resulting injuries:
- Slip and falls – these frequent accidents can happen both indoors from spills or slippery surfaces, and outdoors from snow and ice, or uneven sidewalks. Injuries from a slip and fall can be as minor as a sprained ankle or as serious as a head injury.
- Trips – obstacles within the school from classroom furniture to children’s legs can cause a teacher to trip and break or fracture a bone, or sprain or strain a ligament or tendon.
- Physical assault – while the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 9.2 percent of teachers have been threatened with violence, and 5.4 percent have actually been physically attacked, the numbers are certainly much higher. This is because so many incidents of assault go unreported. Teachers who are physically assaulted in schools by students or parents can suffer serious injuries, as well as emotional trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Stress – many teachers work long hours at low pay in underfunded school districts. Some must worry every day about their safety, in addition to the wellbeing of their charges. These conditions can lead to anxiety and depression.
- Computer use – teachers who sit at desks using computers for much of the day are at risk for repetitive motion disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Left untreated, repetitive motion disorders can result in limited use of the affected muscles of the hand or wrist.
Teachers can also develop occupational illnesses from working in an old building that contains materials made with asbestos, or from exposure to chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing. An occupational illness is a medical condition that develops over time from constant exposure to toxic substances.
If You Are Injured on the Job
If you are injured or develop an occupational illness in the course of your work as a teacher, you must report your injury to your supervisor and complete an accident/injury report. Incidents of physical assault or other safety incidents require additional reporting.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to teachers in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. It is important to file for your Workers’ Compensation benefits immediately because if your injury recurs, but you never filed a claim, there will have been no record established and it may be difficult for you to receive medical benefits.
It is not required that you use a Workers’ Compensation lawyer to file your claim, however, there are time limits for filing a claim for your work-related injury. Working with an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney can relieve you of the stress of navigating the system alone – especially if your claim is denied on a technicality.
A successful claim can provide you with some or all of the following benefits:
- Wage loss benefits
- Medical benefits including hospital treatment, prescription medications, and prostheses.
- Temporary or permanent disability payments whether your injury is partially or totally disabling.
- Specific loss benefits for loss of part – or all – of certain body parts
- Death benefits for dependents of a worker who is killed on the job
Contact the Work Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia at Gross & Kenny, LLP if You Are a Teacher Who Has Been Injured on the Job
At Gross & Kenny, LLP our entire practice is dedicated to helping injured workers. Our experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can make a difference when it comes to the success of your claim. Call 215-512-1500 today or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation in our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office. We serve injured service industry employees throughout the state.