Articles Posted in Firm News

While I apologize to my clients for not being available for the last couple of days, I think you will agree that the absence was for a good cause.  For the last several years, I have attended the Annual Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Seminar, which was held earlier this week in Hershey, PA.  Not only does this seminar allow me to earn many of the continuing legal education credits I need every year, but it also allows us a window into what employers and adjusters are being told regarding the law (I am in the vast minority as an attorney who represents injured workers – the seminar is primarily attended by claims personnel (from both employers and insurance carriers) with some defense attorneys sprinkled in).

Like having the playbook for the other team, we believe it is incredibly valuable to hear what is being told, and how, to these workers’ comp claims personnel.  This allows us to have an idea about how a claim or a situation may be viewed, and what steps may, or may not, be taken.  We hope this allows us to be one step ahead in protecting our clients.

So, now we are back, armed with this insight and ready to once again provide each injured worker with the best representation possible.  If you are not already being protected by us, give us a call today at 215-638-7500 and let our knowledge and experience work for you too.

We have previously discussed things an injured worker in Pennsylvania may wish to consider when selecting a PA workers’ compensation attorney.  Of course, you would want an attorney experienced handling PA workers’ comp cases.  Having practiced primarily in the area of PA workers’ compensation for over 20 years, each of our attorneys has extensive experience in the field.

Since the availability of such a certification in 2013, you may now want to make sure your attorney is Certified as a Specialist in the Practice of Workers’ Compensation Law.  Both of our attorneys, Dina Brilliant and Glenn Neiman, are so certified.  In fact, Brilliant & Neiman LLC is proud to state that our attorneys were two of the first group of attorneys ever to be certified in this area.

But, it is more than just having experience or qualifications.  The true test is using those skills for the benefit of our clients.  Why, just today, Mr. Neiman argued before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.  This is something not every workers’ compensation attorney gets to do.  We at Brilliant & Neiman LLC go that extra step for our clients, backing them as far as it takes.

If you have not visited our website recently, you may be surprised at some of the changes you will see by checking us out at www.bnlegal.com. The first thing you may notice is that the site has been redesigned to be more friendly to devices other than computers. Now the site should scale itself to be easily read, whether you are browsing on your smart phone, tablet or computer.

Also, we have expanded the information available under the “Workers’ Compensation” tab. We know the entire workers’ compensation system can be scary and intimidating, even if you have an attorney already protecting your rights. In fact, we at Brilliant & Neiman LLC feel that one of our jobs is to explain the process to our clients, so they can feel more secure and understand the system better. Aside from basic concepts, like what benefits are available under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, what if my case is denied or how do I settle my case, we have created pages addressing Impairment Ratings Evaluations, Utilization Reviews and Labor Market Surveys/Earning Power Assessments, since these things impact so many injured workers in PA.

If there are any other pages you think would be helpful for us to add, feel free to visit us and make suggestions.

Though it caused our attorneys to be out of town for a couple of days earlier this week, Brilliant & Neiman LLC felt it important that our attorneys attend the annual Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Annual Conference in Hershey. This two-day seminar allowed our attorneys to discuss the law with other attorneys across the State of Pennsylvania, as well as with many Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs).

Topics that were covered included an update on recent cases coming through the Pennsylvania appellate courts, some information on traumatic brain injuries, a status of pain management treatment options and goals, the impact of social media on a workers’ compensation case, how employment laws interact with workers’ compensation cases, and how different WCJs run their practices and procedures.

While we hate to be unavailable to our clients for a two-day period, the exposure and information obtained by our attorneys is invaluable, and allows us to far better serve them.

Recently, we attended a seminar to be briefed on changes in the rules, formally known as the Special Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure before Workers’ Compensation Judges or the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (each has a separate set of rules). Since our practice is limited to representing injured workers in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation cases, it is critical that we be aware of all aspects of the system.

Perhaps it would be wise first to understand where the Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure fit into the system. As we have mentioned before in this blog, workers’ compensation laws vary widely from State to State. Here, the law starts with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which was created back in 1915 and amended many times since. This law, and its amendments, were written and enacted by the PA legislature. The law is then interpreted by the appellate courts in Pennsylvania. The process by which we litigate these cases, through the Workers Compensation Judge (WCJ) and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB), are dictated by these Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure.

Included in the changes to the Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure before Workers’ Compensation Judges are how cases are litigated against the Uninsured Employers’ Guaranty Fund (UEGF), the fund that is available when an employer fails to carry PA workers’ comp insurance. There were also changes or amendments to what must be contained within Stipulations of Fact, to the timing of the serving of subpoenas, to the availability of a motion like a Motion for Summary Judgment (as in civil law), and changes to initial hearing procedures and pleadings.

We are so honored to have received word from LexisNexis that our blog has been selected as one of the Top Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues for 2014. This is the fifth consecutive year we have received this recognition, the sixth time in total. We really are inspired by receiving such acknowledgement from a well-known national source like LexisNexis. We will work hard in the coming year, to show everyone that we are worthy of this award. We will try to continue to keep everyone informed about matters relevant to the injured worker, and those who deal with such cases, in Pennsylvania.

Recently, we mentioned exciting news coming for Brilliant & Neiman LLC. We now proudly announce (drum roll, please) that Brilliant & Neiman LLC has a new headquarters. We will now have our main office at 260 West Street Road, in Warminster, PA. Our main telephone number will remain 215-638-7500, but items mailed to our office should now be sent to our new location. We believe this will help us serve the needs of injured workers in Central and Upper Bucks County, as well as parts of Eastern Montgomery County.

We will still be keeping our present office in Trevose, near Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County, as well as our office in Allentown, serving the Lehigh Valley, Easton and Bethlehem areas. With the addition of this new location, we think we will be better able to handle the cases of injured workers throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Stay tuned to this blog for the scheduling of an open house, or perhaps a seminar, to welcome folks to our new home. Our offices will be closed on Friday, October 31, 2014, so that we can relocate our headquarters to our new building.

You may have noticed the blog being a little more quiet this month. That is mostly due to the absence of cases from the Pennsylvania appellate courts dealing with PA workers’ compensation issues. However, it is also due in part to some things happening with the firm. While we cannot make any announcements yet, we hope to soon share the news. We think you will agree that this new development will help Brilliant & Neiman LLC help serve the needs of injured workers throughout Southeast and Central Pennsylvania even better! Stay tuned for more news coming soon.

Last night, attorneys Dina Brilliant and Glenn Neiman were guest speakers on the television show hosted by Injured Workers of PA on Berks County Television. Prior to addressing the specific topic of the show, “The Most Frequently Asked Questions We Hear,” the two spoke a little about the prospective legislation which would tax many legal services in PA, including contingent fee agreements in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation matters (Senate Bill 76).

After dealing with this “Legislative Alert,” the two addressed such questions as:

“Can I get workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania if I am not legally able to work in this Country?”

On Friday, January 24, 2014, our offices will be closed for part of the day so our attorneys, and our staff, can attend a seminar regarding the usage of the new computer system recently installed for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Called the WCAIS system, this program went live back in September.

Though we were involved in the early testing of the WCAIS system, each day has brought changes to the new program. To best handle our cases with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, we felt it important that we, and our staff, attend a seminar held to review the current status of WCAIS, and how best to use the system. The seminar is scheduled to have Hon. Elizabeth A. Crum, Director, Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication in Harrisburg, Hon. Susan B. Caravaggio, Central District Judge Manager for the Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication, and three of the lead programmers who worked on, and refined, the system.

While we apologize for any inconvenience caused by us closing the firm, we believe our attendance at this seminar this will better enable us to represent injured workers throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

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