How to receive workers’ compensation as a teacher in Arizona
Teachers play one of the most pivotal roles in young peoples’ lives. However, teaching can be a very stressful job, and there are certain risks teachers face on a daily basis.
Arizona workers’ compensation claims for teachers can get complicated quickly and raise questions about whether they apply to activities that take place away from or after school. In many cases, school districts are less willing to settle with injured teachers, educators and administrators.
What injuries are common among teachers in Arizona?
Some of the most common injuries that educators experience include:
- Car or bus accidents can result in serious injury if a teacher is transporting students to an off-site location or field trip.
- Violence on the job, whether caused by other teachers or students, can leave an educator with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical injuries. Examples include a teacher having to break up a violent fight between students.
- Back and neck injuries often result from improper lifting without assistance and poor back support at desks. These types of injuries can also happen because of a fall on slick school floors.
- Shoulder injuries can be due to heavy lifting with insufficient support. Shoulder injuries include tendonitis and bursitis, and can be triggered with repetitive movements.
- Repetitive stress injuries due to typing and similar activities can impact a teacher’s ability to work long-term. Examples include correcting papers, typing on a computer or tablet and writing on a board. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common complaint among teachers.
- Slip and fall accidents resulting from wet floors, poorly-maintained flooring, objects left on floors and inadequate lighting are common causes of teacher injuries. Torn ligaments and damaged muscles, as well as broken bones, are common injuries associated with these types of falls. Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, in particular, can cause long-lasting damage.
What workers’ compensation benefits are teachers entitled to?
Injured teachers are eligible for the same benefits as other workers in Arizona. These benefits can include medical expenses, wage loss and disability. Here are some examples:
- Emergency room, hospital, and doctor’s office visits related to your injury
- Diagnostics and examinations that relate to the injury
- Prescription medications, including pain medication
- Physical and occupational therapy to help restore functionality
- Travel expense reimbursement for appointments, especially for doctors who are not close to your location
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits to compensate you for not being able to work
How to apply for workers’ compensation in Arizona
When a work-related accident happens, it’s important to understand that Arizona is a no-fault state when it comes to workers’ compensation. This means that you are eligible for benefits, regardless of who was at fault.
Before you apply, make sure that everything about your injury is well-documented. This evidence will be essential for an attorney if your claim is denied.
Always get medical attention as soon as possible after you’re injured. Delaying treatment can make your condition worse.
Immediately file your claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Your injury also needs to be reported to your supervisor, principal or administrator for you to start the workers’ compensation process. Make sure you write down certain details about the incident, including:
- The exact time and date the injury happened
- A concise explanation of how the injury happened
- The injuries that you sustained
- Your location at the time of your injury
The doctor who treats your injuries may file a claim on your behalf.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
When to contact a workers’ comp attorney in Arizona
If your claim is denied or your administrator refused to give you workers’ compensation benefits, seek help from an experienced attorney near you. The assistance of a lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. A lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation cases can ensure that the process goes smoothly.