Philadelphia Injured Poll Worker Attorney
Poll workers are people hired in each district to supervise voting and election processes at polling places. They have the authority to assist voters and intervene if they believe someone is breaking a law. If you were injured by a poll watcher or voter during a scuffle while functioning as a poll worker in Philadelphia, contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices for a free consultation. We may be able to help you hold the at-fault party responsible for your losses.
Under Pennsylvania law, you can become a poll worker and get paid on election days if you meet the state’s requirements. You must be a registered voter in the county where you wish to serve as a poll worker. There is an exception if you are a high school student who is 17 years old, in which case you must meet additional requirements instead. If you are a government employee, agent or official, you cannot be a poll worker. In general, poll workers must remain at polling places all day – from before the polls open until after they closed.
Poll workers have special duties to ensure the voting process goes smoothly and efficiently. These include setting up and breaking down polling places, helping voters understand and exercise their rights, assisting voters in how to cast their ballots, reasonably accommodating voters with disabilities, and protecting ballots and voting equipment. Unfortunately, not everyone respects poll workers’ rights. People at the polling place may intentionally or negligently injure poll workers during altercations.
For example, poll watchers, or people authorized to observe election processes at polling places, may argue with poll workers if they challenge a watcher’s authorization to be at the polling place. These arguments may turn into fights that cause poll worker injuries. Another possibility is a poll worker interfering in a fight between two voters at a polling place. You could also suffer an injury as a poll worker in Philadelphia if you try to prevent an assailant from damaging or vandalizing voting equipment.
Your Rights as an Injured Poll Worker or Voter
If you have an injury such as bruising, a contusion, a broken bone or a concussion from an issue at a polling place as a poll worker or voter, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a civil claim. Pennsylvania’s civil justice system allows injured parties to file civil lawsuits against those responsible for their injuries. If an aggressive or violent poll watcher or another voter physically assaulted you, for example, you may have grounds to bring a civil claim against that party for compensation. You may also qualify for workers’ compensation, depending on the circumstances, although this is unlikely under Pennsylvania law.
Workers’ compensation is generally difficult to qualify for as a poll worker due to the temporary nature of this job. Poll workers typically do not bear the titles of employees and do not qualify for workers’ compensation. In addition, many poll workers are appointed rather than hired. This can exclude them from the definition of an employee under state law. If the law does see you as an employee, you may have grounds to file a workers’ comp claim for your lost wages and medical expenses. Your employer’s insurance company would have to pay these benefits.
Contact a Philadelphia Injured Poll Worker Attorney
Every year, dozens of poll workers and voters in Pennsylvania get injured in polling places. From scuffles between voters to intentional harassment or assault, poll workers can be targets for many acts of violence on election days. If you were injured as a poll worker or voter in Philadelphia, contact the attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices. We may be able to help you pursue financial compensation for your past and future losses. Call (215) 228-0100 or request a meeting online today and we will get back to you as soon as possible for a free consultation.