The number of situations that could cause American workers to contact workers compensation attorneys is virtually limitless. For the most part, when people think of getting hurt at work, laborious jobs like construction or manufacturing might come to mind. However, most every profession is prone to workplace injuries in one way or another. In October 2012, a Baltimore City firefight found himself on fire, and his case has resulted in the city spending more than $620,000 in medical expenses. That might not be a surprise, but the fact that school employees receive so much might be more of a shocker.
According to data provided by a Maryland Public Information Act request, school employees account for $4.6 million in medical bills and other workers comp costs in the last fiscal year. More than a third of those costs came from claims that stemmed from assaults or run-ins with students. Over 300 claims of that variety were made during the same period, which was more than any other city agency besides the Police Department. One of the most extreme cases is that of Jennifer Jones, who ended up in Johns Hopkins Hospital after getting hurt while working at Harford Heights Elementary.
As Erica L. Green, Scott Calvert, and Luke Broadwater note in The Baltimore Sun,, “Jennifer Jones’ school day started with her standing in front of her class of third-graders at Harford Heights Elementary, and it ended with her flat on her back in the East Baltimore school’s hallway.” Unfortunately for Jones, working with a workers compensation attorney and getting the proper compensation could not be her only priority. Fear of being paralyzed was far more significant and her injuries still linger.
“Every day it hurts like Hell, and my life is forever changed,” said the 31-year-old. “I can’t walk my dogs. I can’t do laundry. You eventually start to give up on the dishes. Every time I think about it now, I think the same thing when I was laying on the floor: Why?” That is certainly a good question, for not only how it came to be that she was the teacher chosen and why a third-grade kid would choose to pull her leg out from under her and cause her to plummet to the floor.
Jones’ case, according to estimates, will result in around $20,000 worth of payments. While that might seem small compared to the firefighter, the three authors emphasize that it is often a difficult challenge for teachers to get the financial compensation they are owed. While getting paid should hardly ever be the priority after a workplace injury, sometimes, hiring a workers compensation attorney if often a necessity, particularly in the most damaging incidents.