It’s probably fair to say that teaching can be a stressful job at times. While it is usually a relatively safe profession, accidents involving teachers do sometimes happen. As with any other job, you could be eligible to claim compensation if you’ve been injured while teaching because of your school or college’s negligence. Our guide on teacher injury claims will show when you could claim compensation for classroom, playground, staffroom and other school-related accidents.
If you’re a teacher who’s been injured whilst working, call us for a free consultation. During your call, one of our specialists will review what happened, explain your options and assess whether you have grounds to start a claim. If you do, you’ll be partnered with a specialist personal injury solicitor from our team. If the claim goes ahead, you’ll receive legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis so there won’t be any upfront legal fees to pay.
You can contact us on 0800 6524 881 right away or continue reading to learn more about teacher injury compensation claims.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Teacher Injury Claim?
- Common Causes Of Teacher Injury Claims
- Can I Claim For Being Assaulted While Teaching?
- How Much Compensation For A Teacher Injury Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Teacher Injury Claim
- Teacher Injury Claim Time Limits
- Starting The Teacher Injury Compensation Claims Process
Teachers are owed a legal duty of care by the local authority or governing board of the school or college that employs them. This is established in law by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This duty of care means that the school should try to protect teachers (and pupils) by:
- Conducting regular risk assessments to identify potential dangers.
- Ensure teachers receive adequate health and safety training.
- Maintain classroom equipment and repair any faults identified.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where needed.
Failure to take adequate precautions against teacher accidents could be deemed an act of negligence. Therefore, you could be eligible to make a teacher injury claim if:
- You had an accident at school; and
- The accident was linked to your employer’s negligence; and
- You were injured (or became ill) as a result of the accident.
Later on, we’ll explain what evidence you could use to improve your chance of being compensated.
As you’ll know, schools are under increasing pressure to make their budget go further these days. However, you needn’t worry about suing a school for negligence because any settlement will not be paid for from the school’s budget. Instead, your solicitor will claim against the school’s liability insurance policy which is in place to cover the cost of teacher injuries and accidents in school.
The type of injuries suffered by teachers can vary quite widely and be affected by the size of the school, the age of the building and other factors. Therefore, we won’t list every potential accident here but some common examples include:
- Slips, trips and falls. For example, when a teacher fell down a flight of stairs because of a damaged handrail or overcrowding.
- Scalds and burns. Examples here could include burns in the chemistry lab caused by faulty equipment or scalds in the staffroom because of a broken water heater.
- Back injuries. Teachers could claim compensation for a back injury at work caused by moving heavy equipment and a lack of manual handling training.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). Precautions should be taken to try and protect teachers from RSI injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome when using a keyboard regularly.
- Asbestos exposure. Some older school buildings still contain asbestos. The school must regularly check for any damage that could put pupils and teachers at risk. If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease linked to your school, please get in touch.
- School furniture accidents. You could claim for any injuries caused by damaged chairs, desks or tables within the school.
Other teacher injuries that could lead to a compensation claim include broken bones, spinal injuries and muscle damage (strains, sprains and tears). Even if we’ve not listed your particular injury or accident here, please get in touch and let us know what happened.
Importantly, you could claim compensation for injuries sustained anywhere in the school including staff car park accidents.
Unfortunately, teachers have been assaulted by pupils and even their parents in the past. If you’re a teacher who’s been assaulted at work, we could help you to begin a compensation claim. In some cases, where the school’s negligence led to the incident, you could claim compensation from your employer. For example, if a violent pupil who was supposed to be supported by a specially trained teaching assistant (TA) was unsupervised because the TA was asked to help elsewhere.
If the incident was not preventable, you may be entitled to criminal injury compensation instead.
Being injured at school can have an impact on you physically, mentally and financially. Therefore, if you make a teacher injury compensation claim, you should consider:
- Any physical pain, discomfort and suffering.
- Distress, depression and other forms of psychological injuries.
- Lost income and future losses if your injuries prevent you from teaching in the long term.
- Loss of enjoyment of any of your usual activities.
- The time somebody else spent caring for you.
- Medical costs such as physiotherapy or prescription fees.
- Travel expenses.
- Damage to any personal property linked to your accident.
- Modifications to your vehicle or home to help you to cope with any ongoing disabilities.
Your solicitor will review your claim in some detail with you before filing it with your school to try and make sure any compensation awarded fully covers the impact of your injuries.
Our compensation calculator shows how much compensation teachers could be paid for a range of different injuries.
The amount you’ll receive will be based on the severity of your injuries which will be determined as part of an independent medical assessment. This is generally required when making a personal injury claim so your solicitor will make an appointment locally as soon as the claims process begins.
If your school or college accepts liability for your injuries, you could be awarded early payments before the claim has been settled to cover the cost of medical treatment at a private hospital.
As with any other type of compensation claim, teacher injury claims will need to be supported by evidence. This will need to prove to the school’s insurance provider how your accident occurred, who was to blame and the impact of your injuries.
Therefore, if you are injured whilst teaching, you should:
- Get medical treatment. To improve the chances of a full recovery, you should visit your GP or A&E to have any injuries diagnosed properly. Medical reports from your consultation could be used to prove your injuries.
- Report the incident. All teacher accidents should be recorded in the school’s accident report book. A copy of your report could be used to confirm the date, time and location of your accident.
- Take photographs. It can be easier to explain what happened if you take photos of the cause of your accident.
- CCTV footage. If your school has CCTV and the incident was recorded, you are entitled to request a copy.
- Speak to witnesses. If another teacher, a TA, a parent or a visitor to the school saw your accident, ask them for their contact details. Your solicitor might ask them for a statement of what they saw as part of your claim.
- Keep a diary. Try to write down as much as you can about your accident and then keep a note of any key dates. For example, you could note any events you missed because of your injuries or the dates you could not work.
Don’t worry if you’ve not yet secured all of the evidence detailed above. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will work hard to collect the information needed to support your claim.
Legally, all teacher accident claims have a 3-year time limit. This will either begin on the date you were injured or from when your doctor made you aware of your injury (your date of knowledge).
So that you don’t miss out on any compensation you could be entitled to, we’d suggest that you don’t wait too long to start your claim. This should mean there is enough time to collect evidence and medical reports needed.
If you’ve been injured while teaching and believe that you should be compensated, call our advisors on 0800 6524 881. During your call, you can ask any questions you might have and your claim will be assessed on a no-obligation basis.
Remember, if the claim is taken on, your personal injury solicitor will manage it on a No Win No Fee basis. Knowing that you won’t pay legal fees unless you’re awarded compensation will usually mean the process is much less stressful.
Our live chat team can also help with teacher injury claims so please feel free to get in touch.