School teachers have one of the toughest jobs. Handling a room full of children five days a week, planning their lessons, teaching, and grading tests can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. However, the job is physically demanding as well. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 40,000 teachers each year suffer a workplace injury. Injury-causing accidents common among school faculty include being struck by falling materials and suffering slip and falls on slippery floors or steps. In addition, teachers can experience injuries by performing repetitive tasks such as writing on a board or typing.
Sadly, assaults by students and even by armed outsiders have resulted in teachers being hurt or fatally injured. According to Education By The Numbers, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the educational system, the number of injuries teachers suffer from school-related violence has increased significantly over the past five years.
Chronic illnesses have also been reported. These can be caused by exposure to unsafe building materials or to chemicals used to teach chemistry or biology. In addition, repeated exposure to stressful working conditions can, over time, cause illnesses such as heart disease and nervous conditions.
School employees are covered by no-fault Workers’ Compensation insurance, which is paid for by their employer. It provides reimbursement to injured workers for missed work and for medical expenses associated with on-the-job injuries. There are some exceptions to being covered by Workers’ Compensation. An injury related to intoxication from alcohol or a controlled substance is generally not covered. Injuries that arise from willfully hurting yourself are also not covered.
Under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation law, employees injured at work may be reimbursed for part of their salary for the days they have missed work because of the injury. The maximum amount of compensation is two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage up to a certain amount.
Additional coverage can include payment of medical expenses, including hospitalization and psychological counseling. A teacher may also be entitled to compensation for temporary or permanent disability if he or she is unable to fully recover from the injury.
Workers’ Compensation law usually allows up to 90 days for you to notify your employer of a work-related accident or injury. However, the best chance for you to receive the full compensation you are due is to report the injury or illness as soon as possible. There is a two-year statute of limitations on these claims after which you may be barred from filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
If you are a teacher or other school employee and have been injured at work, contact a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today. We understand the complex Workers’ Compensation laws and how to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled. Call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Our attorneys are proud to provide the highest quality legal service to injured workers throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.