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Teachers and Workers’ Compensation Benefits


After spending the summer lesson planning for their respective classes, almost every teacher in America is once again standing at the front of a classroom now that school is back in session. However, some of those who teach our nation’s youngest and brightest minds were unable to return to work this school year because they have, unfortunately, been injured during a prior school session. While teachers can make a big difference in the lives of their students, the profession also presents many challenges. And though teaching is not a particularly dangerous industry in comparison with some others, some of these challenges can still result in a teacher being injured.

For example, in 2012, a little more than 56,000 people employed in local government education services, which includes teachers, suffered an injury on the job. Interestingly, the public school injury rate for elementary school teachers was double the rate for private schools. Because of this, teachers must ensure that accidental injuries are treated and documented thoroughly at any time that they occur, even at the beginning of the school year when things are hectic.

How Can Teachers Become Injured?

Teachers may have signed up for the job knowing that it would require them to perform a variety of roles, but most teachers didn’t enter such a noble profession thinking they would be the victims of a workplace accident. Teachers can become injured in a variety of ways such as:

  • Slip and falls. Schools see a lot of traffic among students, teachers, and parents which can place a substantial amount of strain on physical resources such as carpet, tile, and other flooring teachers depend on to remain intact and keep them safe. When it fails, falls can occur.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and substances. Unfortunately, a toxin can enter the body in a variety of ways such as ingestion, skin or eye absorption, or inhalation. The health effects can be immediate or long term, meaning symptoms may not appear until much later.
  • Violence and physical attacks. Sadly, gun violence is a major concern in schools these days and teachers may be also be stabbed or kicked. A joint report by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released a few years back indicated that 145,000 public school teachers had been physically attacked by students at their schools in the course of a single school year. Teachers who are physically attacked or shot may also have the right to demand workers’ compensation while they tend to their injuries.

When Can Teachers Obtain Workers’ Compensation?

Every teacher, like other workers, is generally entitled to obtain workers’ compensation benefits after being injured while working. These injuries are typically covered by workers’ compensation and the cause of the injury is immaterial, so long as the teacher was working or the injury arose as a result of his or her work. This can even include injuries that happen while on school trips or supervising activities off school premises so long as they still occur during the scope of employment.

Have You or a Teacher You Love Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?

Tragically, teachers can face some of the worst workplace injuries despite having one of the most important roles in our society. Properly evaluating permanent injuries and their impact on the teacher’s employment is essential for getting the right financial settlement through workers’ compensation and any third party claims. Additionally, obtaining legal help is often necessary to secure protection for an injured teacher’s job and ability to return to work. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping injured workers obtain workers’ compensation benefits in complicated circumstances, and we are here to help you obtain the benefits that you deserve. Begin by contacting us today.


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