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Teachers Injured on the Job

Chicago Lawyers Helping Educational Professionals

Illinois teachers confront dangerous situations at work that can result in serious injuries. Some risks that teachers face include toxic exposure, fumes, mold, vermin, school shootings, violent attacks, lockdowns, stabbings, threats, stress, slip and falls, and repetitive stress injuries. Teachers injured on the job deserve medical treatment and compensation. Schedule a consultation with the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to discuss your case.

Teachers Injured on the Job

If you are injured or made sick on the job as a teacher, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in which employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance or apply for self-insurance. When notified of an on-the-job injury, insurers are supposed to pay benefits to the injured teacher. In exchange, teachers are not able to sue their employers to recover compensation and don’t need to show their injuries were caused by anything the school did or didn’t do. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system can be difficult to navigate, and insurers do deny valid claims, making it important to retain a lawyer.

Workers’ Compensation for Teachers

You can recover benefits for workplace injuries, even if you have a pre-existing condition, so long as work exacerbated the pre-existing condition. For example, if you rupture a previously herniated disc while lifting a table in your classroom, the disc rupture would be covered in spite of the pre-existing condition. Injuries that aren’t covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act include injuries sustained while not on the job, injuries sustained while perpetrating a serious crime, self-inflicted injuries, and injuries sustained where the employee’s conduct violated company policy.  

If you’re injured on the job as a teacher, you should notify the school in writing, specifying the date and place where you were injured, within 45 days of the accident.

Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits to which you may be entitled include medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. These benefits are not taxable. Disability benefits depend on your average weekly wage and the extent of the injury.

Temporary total disability benefits are calculated at 2/3 of your average weekly wage if you’re not able to work while recovering. They are only paid once three days of work are missed; however if you miss more than 14 days of work due to disability, the first three days of disability will be paid as well. For example, if you are a teacher who sustains a concussion and two fractured wrists as a result of a slip and fall at school, you may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits.

When permanent injuries are sustained while on the job, permanent disability benefits may be awarded. For example, if you were shot in a school shooting and suffer paralysis and psychological trauma as a result, you may be permanently disabled.

Teachers’ Psychological Injuries

Sometimes teachers injured on the job sustain psychological or psychiatric injuries. It is possible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for psychological injuries in Illinois. Generally, it’s more straightforward to obtain benefits for psychological injuries that stem from a physical injury. Insurers have a more difficult time evaluating psychological injuries that result from psychological trauma experienced on the job. In order to obtain benefits for psychological injury, you’ll need to present objective evidence that supports inferences of psychological injury, disability or causation. You’ll also need to put forward that you suffered a sudden, severe emotional shock that can be traced to a certain place, time, and cause. Employment must be a major contributing cause of the psychological injury.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Teachers work hard for their students. If you are a teacher injured on the job in Chicago, you should discuss your situation with the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We represent injured teachers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, along with Cook, Adams, Winnebago, Kane, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.