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Old 08-18-2012, 10:19 AM
Mrs. Q's Avatar
Mrs. Q Mrs. Q is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 518
Far East Texas :)
High School Teacher
I fell at work... what now?

I was working in my classroom on Thursday - it was a contract day for me, but not many other people were there. I slid a couple of times, but never could find anything on the floor. Then our secretary came in to get something and my feet completely slid out from under me - I fell forward, landing on one knee and catching myself on a chair. She was shocked, but just asked if I was okay and then left.

My husband came a few minutes later to get our son and he found a big puddle in the floor, so he went to ask the custodian if they had mopped without me knowing it. She ended up calling her supervisor, who called the district safety manager.

I gave her a verbal statement - and she said it was because I had on flip-flops with no tread on them and that I should never wear those to work. I probably shouldn't (although I have NEVER slid in them before) but I reminded her that there was a huge puddle in the floor.

She said on Monday, when everyone will be back at school for inservice, I will have to talk to her again and fill out a report. My knee is not bruised but still hurts when I walk on it 2 days later.

I'm only a 3rd year teacher - never had anything like this happen. Is it a huge deal to file workman's comp if I do feel like I need to go to the doctor? Does it look bad on me? I feel like she was blaming me b/c of my shoes, but if the floors are wet, I would have fallen anyway probably!
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:32 AM
Rebel1 Rebel1 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,524
You should go to the doctor, so you can have proof of how your knee is. Document in your own journal what happened. Log, log, log.
I hope you'll be okay for the first day, and the rest of the year.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:33 AM
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MikeTeachesMath MikeTeachesMath is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,165
New York
HS Math, SAT/ACT Prep
Oh come on. Seriously? She's blaming the flip flops? How about the puddle of water you had no idea was there!
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:34 AM
GemStone GemStone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 600
You should email your principal for advice. You may be required to be seen in a certain time period after falling. They might also have a facility they prefer you to use. All of this would be covered by your district. I don't know all the legalities, so I would check with your principal. Also, you may want to be seen before you make the injury worse by continuing to walk on it.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:35 AM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27,640
Math teacher
If you think you need medical attention, you get it ASAP. Then on Monday you fill out an accident report at work-- in the main office, not the custodian's.

It won't be the first or last accident report filed in your school. That's why they have insurance. Becasue sometimes people get hurt.

Feel better!
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:52 AM
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HistTchr HistTchr is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 889
New England
Social Studies Director, 6-12
In my district they would make you fill out an accident report on the same day and then go get checked out at an occupational health place the district works with.

I fell one day last summer when they stripped and waxed the floors in one hallway and they didn't have a sign up. I went flying the second I stepped on the floor! (I wasn't hurt, but I did end up with sticky wax all over me.) Someone else fell the next day for the same reason and ended up having to go to the hospital. It happens more often than you might think!
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:17 AM
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Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,154
Middle School Teacher
There should be a person at central office who handles district workers' comp claims. Talk to that person. Yes, it can be a hassle to deal with all of it, but that's why they have workers' comp.

I fell at work last fall. I'd stayed after school a few minutes to grade some scan cards so I could record the grades over the weekend. The scanning machine is in the library. The other card I needed was in the back room of the library. That room is a complete disaster. I was being careful--I thought. I caught my foot on something, and I fell forward. I fell into a rolling bookshelf and then fell flat on the floor. My glasses went flying. I tore the knee of my jeans, and my knee was bleeding. I'd hit my chin on the shelf and threw my head back. One ankle was sore. It took me a minute to get my bearings. Luckily a couple of my friends were still there. I called the principal on his cell phone, and he told me to go tot he ER. Medical attention needs to be in 24 hours. It was a Friday, and I didn't want to get worse. One of my co-workers got the paperwork from the office for me to take to the hospital, and another called my husband to come get me and take me to the ER. I had to have a neck and knee x-ray, and I left with muscle relaxers and pain medicine. I also had three months of 3X weekly chiropractor visits. I had a ton of paperwork to fill out, as did the hospital and chiropractor and the pharmacy. I also had to give a statement to someone at the workers' comp office. (The library storage room did get a massive clean out after that, and they now keep the scan-card stuff out in the main library.)

Don't wait too long to get it seen by a doctor. If you miss the window to get it checked, you'll be out of luck it something arises later.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:56 PM
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Mrs. Q Mrs. Q is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 518
Far East Texas :)
High School Teacher
Thanks guys! I guess I just felt like I was in trouble somehow, since she blamed my shoes. But someone spilled something in my room and I didnt' know it... that's not my fault, right?

Everyone had left for the weekend, so that's why she said we would fill out the paperwork on Monday. I'm sure my principal will pay me a visit but if not, I might just go talk to him myself. She did say I have to be seen at the local ER, but said that if problems arose later, I could always go then and still claim it. We live over 20 minutes away from the school/hospital but we're going to town tonight - if it's still hurting, I might go ahead in and have an xray done just to be sure.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:02 PM
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dgpiaffeteach dgpiaffeteach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,937
Middle/High School English
Mrs. Q-does your contract say anything about what type of shoes you're allowed to wear? I know my previous contract specifically said that we were not allowed to wear flip-flops or tennis shoes during work hours.

I hope you feel better soon! And don't feel bad, it's not your fault they left a puddle in your room!
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:06 PM
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dmbfan36 dmbfan36 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 99
6th Grade Teacher
I'm speaking about NY not sure about where you live - my husband does this for a living and when I asked him about workers comp laws he said that regardless of what you were wearing on your feet you would still be compensated under the law.

Go get it checked and possibly also call a lawyer.
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