Workers’ Compensation for Teachers in Greenville

Teachers who are injured during employment may have workers’ comp coverage due to the state’s extensive workers’ compensation insurance laws, which require most employers with four or more employees on the payroll, including public schools, to have coverage for those employees.

An injured teacher does not have to demonstrate fault to get their benefits, but  schools or their insurers may try to deny workers’ compensation claims, which is where a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney could offer guidance. Contact a lawyer for more information on workers’ compensation for teachers in Greenville.

Teaching Is Medium Risk for Physical Injuries

Teaching is a medium-risk occupation. Teachers may experience an increased risk of assaults and very real, albeit small, risk of being in a school shooting, however, most teacher injuries happen in the course of a typical school day.

Repetitive stress injuries are common for teachers because they use the same body parts — arms, hands, neck, and shoulders — to carry out most of their workplace activities. Writing, typing at a computer, and grading papers all use the same body parts. Rest and anti-inflammatory medications may be sufficient to treat mild repetitive strain injuries, but more severe injuries may require stricter rest periods, physical therapy, or even surgery, leading to time away from work.

Slip and falls are another potential hazard. Like most other workplaces, schools have slipping or tripping hazards. Wet floors, loose flooring, worn-out stairs, icy sidewalks, and more can lead to falls. These injuries can be severe, such as broken bones and head injuries that can lead to extensive recovery times.

Another potential source of harm is toxins. Decades ago, schools were built with asbestos, which a substance that prevents the spread of fire but is very hazardous for the lungs. Schools also use cleaning products that can lead to illnesses, and they may have mold issues, sewage or drainage issues, or other problems that increase the risk of exposure to toxins.

Any of these potential injuries or illnesses can impact a teacher. Missing work creates tremendous financial hardship, which can lead teachers to put off treatment and recovery. Workers’ compensation does cover teachers, and an attorney in Greenville who has experience with workers’ compensation for teachers could help ensure they are covered so they can seek treatment with relative financial safety.

Partial Benefits

The workers’ comp system does not include the same type of benefits a person would get in a personal injury claim. For example, it does cover medical expenses, but it covers only two-thirds of the missing wages.

In some instances, workers’ comp may cover vocational re-training, however, whether that is available depends on the nature and extent of an injury. For everyday school workplace injuries, a teacher may have to fight to get vocational re-training or physical or occupational therapy.

While the law limits what type of recovery a teacher can receive, there is room for negotiation. An attorney who is knowledgeable about worker’s compensation for teachers in Greenville could help a teacher get a longer recovery period, more extensive medical care, and approval for extensive rehab.

Report the Injury

Employees need to report an injury to their employer within 90 days, because failure to make a timely report can potentially foreclose their claim. The teacher should make the report in writing, including any supporting documentation or photos, then the school should file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).

When the school fails to file a claim within a reasonable time — a week or two after receiving the report — a teacher can file their own claim by submitting Form 50 to the SCWCC. As long as the teacher reports the injury within 90 days, they have up to two years to file a claim. A Greenville attorney could help a teacher file a workers’ compensation claim.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn About Teacher Workers’ Comp

When you are a teacher who has experienced a workplace injury, you may need help getting the insurer to pay your claim. Remember, your school does not have to disagree with the claim for the insurance company to reject it. An attorney can represent you in the claim process and argue for more extensive medical care, rehab, and time away from work. Schedule a private consultation to learn more about worker’s compensation for teachers in Greenville.