School Employees & Workers’ Compensation:

What You Need to Know About Your Rights & Benefits

When it comes to school employees & workers’ compensation after a work related injury, the Illinois Education Association highly recommends that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney. For more than 17 years, Woodruff Johnson & Evans has been privileged to be one of the few firms recommended by the IEA to handle members’ workers’ compensation claims.

Below, we have gathered a few of the questions teachers and para-educators often asked when coming to us for assistance with their workers’ compensation claims. If you have questions about your claim, we are here to help you.

Q: How do I know if I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?

A: If you suffered an injury while you are on the clock during the course of your duties, you most likely qualify for work comp benefits, which include a partial wage replacement and medical expenses related to the injury.

Q: How long do I have to give my employer notice of my injury?

A: Typically, you have 45 days from the date of the injury to give notice to one of your supervisors, but you should give notice of the injury as soon as possible.

Q: How long do I have to file a claim on my injury?

A: Generally, you must file a claim with the IWCC (not just the work comp carrier) within three years of the date of your accident.

Q: Who pays my medical bills?

A: The work comp carrier should authorize and pay for the medical treatment recommended by your treating physicians.

Q: Do I have to treat with my employer’s doctor?

A: No. You are free to treat with any two doctors of your choosing, and anyone they refer you to.

Q: Do I have to use my sick days or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) while I’m off work?

A: You don’t have to use your sick days while off work for a work injury. However, your employer may require you to run your FMLA time concurrently.

Q: How is my average weekly wage calculated?

A: The wages you earned over the year prior to the accident are divided by 52 weeks to get your average weekly wage.

Q: If I’ve had a prior injury to the same body part, can I still file a claim?

A: Yes. The work comp carrier would still be responsible for paying any benefits resulting from a new or more extensive injury to that body part.

Q: What if my injury occurred gradually over time?

A: If your injury occurred as a result of repetitive job duties, your claim would be compensable. However, school employees are a little different. If you don’t work in the summer but split your pay over the whole year, your wages are divided by the number of weeks you actually worked, which should increase your average.

Q: If I file a claim, will I be fired?

A: No. Retaliation for exercising your work comp rights is prohibited by the statute.

Q: Am I entitled to a settlement at the end of my claim?

A: In most circumstances, if you’ve suffered a compensable work injury, you are entitled to an award for permanent partial disability to compensate you for symptoms or difficulties you continue to experience as a result of the injury.

Q: How are attorney fees paid in work comp cases?

A: Attorneys are paid 20% of any disputed benefits recovered for you. You pay nothing up front and in the unlikely event we don’t recover anything for you, you don’t owe any fees.

Our attorneys have extensive experience addressing the special considerations involved when pursuing workers’ compensation claims for school employees. We frequently represent school employees throughout the state of Illinois. If you’ve been injured at work, we can help.

We can be reached by phone at (866) 891-9211 or online via our contact form. Our free, confidential consultations provide you with the information you want and the answers to questions you have. You need the experience, reputation, and skilled legal team of Woodruff Johnson & Evans behind you.

Related blog topics:

How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim for Workplace Violence

Workers Compensation: Do seasonal workers get lost wages?

  • Award
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • AV Peer Review Rated
  • Super Lawyers
  • Leading Lawyers

Thank you so much for great service and representation!

Attorney Russ Haugen was truly amazing. He kept in touch with me every time there was new information or changes with my case. The company he represents were very professional every time I called and responded back within a reasonable amount of time. I would recommend not only Russ Haugen to represent you, but the […]

Alexis W

Russ fought for me and I received more than double from the 1st settlement offer.

In July of 2018 I injured my back on the job. I was advised by someone to find a lawyer. I was given Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices telephone number. I called and had a consultation with Russell Haugen. I knew nothing as far as what to do or expect. He was very informative […]

Sheryl D

Thank you, Jay Johnson, for all that you do. You are truly one of the good guys.

This is the second time I’ve needed the services of Jay Johnson, and it will be the second time that I am completely satisfied with Mr. Johnson’s performance. He thoroughly explains all aspects of a case and is always able to answer questions and concerns. I would recommend, and have recommended him, to other people […]

Richard V

Very glad I chose them for my lawsuit.

They were very professional with my case. They were patient and always kept me informed. Very comfortable environment. I was very glad to choose them for my lawsuit.

Matthew D.

Russell Haugen represented me, and he was absolutely amazing!

Excellent Law firm! Russell Haugen represented me, and he was absolutely amazing! He always checked on me and answered every phone call regarding my concern we settled for way more than I expected! He’s kind and considerate! I highly recommend Russell! He won’t let you down and God forbid but if I were to get […]

Samia L.

I was very pleased with this firm! Highly recommended!!

Not a fan of lawyers (previous encounters with different firm); but, I was very pleased with this firm and with Casey Woodruff. Answered my questions and addressed my concerns in a timely manner. Highly recommended!!

Dane S.

Honest conversation, personable team and timely responses.

Honest conversation, personable team and timely responses. Working with Mr. Evans and Cynthia has been a wonderful experience at a difficult time. Phone calls and emails are answered within a very reasonable time frame, each conversation is handled in a compassionate manner.

Deidre S.

DJ did a fantastic job on my auto-accident claim!

I highly recommend Mr. Dexter Evans, and the Woodruff law firm. DJ did a fantastic job on my auto-accident claim. I really appreciated all the detailed information provided, and finding medical assistance for me. It was awesome. All my questions were addressed properly and asap. I made my final decision with confidence. Over all the […]

Lilia G.

I’ve had to know a few attorneys in my life and Jon was the best.

Unfortunately, I got badly injured at an athletic job. Run by a company that didn’t care about me. I needed an attorney and Woodruff, Johnson and Evans was recommended to me by a family member. That small gesture ended up being the best legal advice I ever received. Jon Walker defended me and made sure […]

Marko P.

I wouldn’t have gotten the relief from my injury if Jay had not gotten involved.

I was referred to Woodruff, Johnson & Evans by a friend after a work related car accident. The workmen comp adjuster was giving me the run around. I was having terrible back pain but because it was work related my doctors could not provide me the treatment I need. Jay Johnson began investigating my case […]

Randel M
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation