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Lost Wages for Injured Teachers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Educators With Workers’ Compensation Claims

You may not think of teaching as a high stress or risky job. Unfortunately, teachers do face substantial risks in the workplace today. Work injuries can result from slip and fall accidents, school shootings, violence, lifting heavy objects, repetitive motion, or vehicle accidents. As a teacher with a work injury, you're entitled to workers compensation benefits. Besides medical benefits, you may also be entitled to lost wages for injured teachers. If you suffered a job accident or illness, you should discuss your workers’ compensation claim with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

Lost Wages for Injured Teachers

When teachers are is injured while doing their job, they are entitled to compensation for certain losses. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. Accordingly, you are eligible for benefits regardless of whether your employer, a third party or even you were at fault. Among the workers’ compensation benefits you may be able to receive is partial wage replacement in the form of disability pay.

For temporary and total disability benefits, you are eligible for two-thirds of your average weekly wage for every week you're not able to work due to a work-related injury. There are four different ways to calculate your average weekly wage. Often, they’re calculated as actual earnings during the 52 weeks that terminate in the last day of your full pay period immediately before an accident, minus bonus and overtime, and divided by 52. If you lost five or more calendar days during the 52 weeks before your accident, your earnings will be divided by the number of weeks and parts of weeks you actually worked. If you were employed as a teacher for less than 52 weeks, your earnings will be divided by the number of weeks and parts of weeks you actually worked before suffering your injuries. If your job as a teacher had been so brief that it's impractical to calculate your average weekly wage according to the foregoing methods, the arbitrator will look at the average weekly amount that was being earned by someone in the same grade employed at the same type of teaching for your employer for each of the 52 prior weeks, for the same number of hours.

A lawyer who understands the intricate workers’ compensation system will be able to determine how your average weekly wage should be calculated, so that you can obtain the greatest amount of disability pay.

While the work-related injury may be an entirely new injury, it also may be due to repetitive stress or the aggravation or exacerbation of pre-existing injury. So long as the injury is work-related, you should be able to obtain a portion of your lost wages. The amount you can recover is less than what you would receive in a personal injury lawsuit. However, in a personal injury lawsuit, you would need to establish fault of someone other than your employer.

Permanent Disability

In some cases, teachers are unable to teach due to a permanent disability caused by a work-related injury. In that case, you may also be entitled to obtain benefits for lost wages related to your disability. There are different ways to calculate benefits for a permanent partial or total disability.

If you're not able to return to teaching, but you can still work, you may request vocational training for a different job. For instance, if you sustained catastrophic injuries due to a school shooting and can no longer go back to school to teach, it might be appropriate to request disability pay, as well as vocational rehabilitation, from the school or your employer’s insurer.

Discuss Your Claim for Lost Wages With a Chicago Attorney

If you concerned about lost wages for injured teachers, you should discuss your work-related injuries and your claim with the seasoned Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent teachers in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora, and Quincy, as well as Winnebago, Sangamon, Adams, Kane, Cook Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.