While jobs like construction, agriculture, and law enforcement, and firefighting are known to have a higher than average risk of work-related injuries, teachers also face their own unique risks of being injured on the job. Teacher workplace injuries can be serious enough to prevent teachers from being able to perform their job duties. Teachers who are hurt at work may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that can pay for medical recovery and provide lost income benefits if teachers cannot work while they recover from a work-related injury. 

Common Work Accidents at Schools

Some of the most frequent causes of teacher workplace injuries include:

  • Slip and fall accidents: Hallways and classroom floors can quickly accumulate slipping or tripping hazards, as students spill drinks or leave their backpacks on the ground. Exterior walkways and school parking lots can also become slippery from rain, snow, and ice. Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents can cause teachers a wide range of physical injuries, including fractures, ligament/tendon/muscle injuries, herniated disc injuries, or traumatic brain injury.
  • Repetitive stress/strain injuries: Repetitive stress injuries occur when a person makes the same movement over and over for an extended period of time. These injuries may occur when teachers write on the chalkboard, type on the computer, or grade papers for hours on end. Common repetitive stress or strain injuries suffered by teachers include carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator cuff injury.
  • Toxic exposure: Unfortunately, older school buildings are still filled with hazardous materials, such as asbestos or lead paint. Poor maintenance can also lead to mold buildup that may cause teachers to become ill from any number of diseases or health conditions, including infections, liver or kidney damage, or cancer.
  • Burns, electrocution, or machinery accidents: Teachers may also be injured by the materials and equipment they use during instruction. For example, chemistry teachers might be burned when using Bunson burners, or shop teachers might be injured by power tools. 
  • Emotional/mental trauma: Teachers may also suffer emotional or mental injuries from traumatic incidents, including incidents involving difficult students.
  • Violence: Unfortunately, violence at schools is on the rise. Teachers may be attacked by violent students or may be injured when they try to break up fights between students, or they may be attacked by parents upset by the teacher’s disciplinary or grading decisions. 

What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Might a Teacher Be Entitled To?

If you are a teacher who was injured at school, you may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits that include:

  • Medical benefits, which pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Temporary disability benefits, which provide partial wage replacement if you cannot work while you recover from your injuries
  • Permanent partial disability benefits, which provide payments that are based on the type and severity of a disability that does not prevent you from continuing to work
  • Permanent total disability benefits, which continue wage replacement benefits for as long as you remain unable to work
  • Vocational rehabilitation services

Contact a Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Englewood, and all across New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.