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Teachers: Hurt at work? You're covered

You've been a teacher for many years, but every year seems to have its own issues. This year, you have a few students prone to violence. As you pulled one student off another while he was attacking, you ended up with a black eye. Still seeing stars, you marched the child down to the principal's office, but now you have to go to the doctor.

The good news is that teachers are often covered by workers' compensation. You shouldn't have to pay for the exam for your eye or any treatment you need to heal. Additionally, if you need some time off work for tests or surgeries, those are likely to be covered as well.

Are all injuries covered by workers' compensation?

On the whole, most injuries are covered. However, injuries you cause to yourself likely aren't. For example, if you cut yourself intentionally, that won't likely count, whereas if you accidentally cut yourself with scissors, that will.

There are so many situations that could take place at school that it's nearly impossible to think about or prepare for them all. Having workers' compensation in place protects you from having to cover the costs associated with medical care when the injuries were caused by others or are an unintentional consequence of your actions.

What happens if you're injured at school?

Right away, you need to report the injury. In the above case, the injury is obvious. Pointing it out when visiting the principal's office is enough to get the ball rolling. From there, your employer should help you file a claim with the workers' compensation department in the state. You may, initially, go to any doctor you choose for the first appointment, though your school district may work with a certain facility for claims.

After the claim is approved, your workers' compensation policy covers all medical care and lost wages after a certain point.

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