Articles Posted in Firm News

As many of our readers know, we are very connected to the Lehigh Valley.  This is something we feature on our website.   We have an office in Center City Allentown, at 609 Hamilton Street, just blocks away from the PPL Center, to serve our clients throughout the Lehigh Valley area.  We are also proud members of the Bar Association of Lehigh County.

So, it seemed an obvious decision for us to partner with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  You can now see our advertising when you come out to Coca-Cola Park in Allentown to root on the IronPigs this Summer.

Here are some photos from a game this week, showing our ads:

As proud members of the Bucks County Bar Association (BCBA), the attorneys at Brilliant & Neiman LLC joined other members of the BCBA last night for the annual Judge John J. Rufe Softball Game.  Playing for the “seasoned” lawyers team (that is, of course, the most diplomatic way one can say “old”), Glenn Neiman helped secure a win for the team.  Dina Brilliant cheered on the team from the safe confines of the bench.  This was the first win for the old . . . seasoned . . . lawyer team in three years.

Aside from enjoying the comradery of the event, these types of occasions are important for our attorneys to interact with other attorneys across Bucks County.  Since our firm limits its practice to just handling Pennsylvania workers’ compensation cases, we do not handle other legal matters.  However, we have occasions when our clients, or people who contact our firm, need an attorney for another matter, whether that is a car accident, divorce or support issues, criminal defense, real estate, bankruptcy, employment law or any other area of law.  By being active in the BCBA, we have the luxury of having many fine attorneys in various areas of the law to which we can refer clients.

And, it is not just Bucks County.  The attorneys at Brilliant & Neiman LLC are also members of the Lehigh and Northampton County Bar Associations, and attend events for the Philadelphia and Montgomery County Bar Associations.  This provides our firm with a rich diversity of attorneys for a referral network, in many areas of the law, and many geographic areas.

Our attorneys were out of the office earlier this week, to attend the annual Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Conference, in Hershey, PA.  While we hate to have our attorneys both unavailable to help our clients, we feel it is important for us to attend these seminars.  This conference is presented by the Bureau itself, so there is an opportunity to obtain information allowing us to stay current on all topics of interest in Pennsylvania workers’ compensation.

While there are not many attorneys, like us, who represent injured workers in attendance, we think listening in is helpful.  Most of the attendees at this conference are not attorneys at all; they are adjusters, risk management and safety officials from all across PA.  Additionally, many of the Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs) are in attendance.  We can hear what these folks are being told regarding different aspects of the PA workers’ compensation system.  This can help us anticipate issues and avoid some pitfalls that could pertain to our clients.

Topics addressed at the different sessions ranged from medical issues (including medical marijuana, the future of “telehealth,” and the role of nurse case managers), to internet surveillance, to Workers Compensation Medicare Set-Asides (WCMSAs), to different insights on how WCJs feel about varying issues.

We are not the official workers’ compensation law firm of the NFL.  Or of any major sport.  What does that even mean?  We do not have a slick marketing department, which puts our faces on billboards or TV.  What we ARE is the law firm for injured workers.  Our focus is not on fancy marketing; it is on delivering the best personal attention to your case.

We do not have multiple paralegals for each attorney, nor do we have more attorneys than you can count.  We have two attorneys that will actually handle your case.  What does that mean for you?  It means that both of our attorneys are experienced and certified as specialists in workers’ compensation law.  Each of our attorneys has over 25 years of experience in the field.  You will never have your case handled by a junior attorney with little or no experience.  You can be confident that every step of your case will be handled by an experienced and qualified attorney.

Some firms have paralegals and assistants handle the day-to-day things on a case.  The injured worker doesn’t speak to his or her attorney; the injured worker speaks to the attorney’s “team.”  That is not how we operate.  At Brilliant & Neiman LLC, one of our two attorneys is personally handling your case.  You can speak directly to your attorney to have any concerns addressed or questions answered.

Anyone who follows our blog, or the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system, knows that one of the fastest changing areas these days is that of Impairment Rating Evaluations (IREs).  To keep pace with these changes, and continue our goal of educating the injured worker throughout PA, we have updated the IRE section of our website.  The new page can be accessed here.

For those unfamiliar with the IRE process, this was something the insurance industry lobbied hard for when major changes were made to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (Act) in 1996.  As seen with other States in the Country, an IRE process can change the status of an injured worker from “total” disability to “partial” disability.  While this may not (and in PA does not) change the amount of the weekly benefit received by an injured worker, it does start the clock ticking on the number of weeks of partial disability benefits an injured worker can receive (in Pennsylvania, an injured worker can only receive a maximum of 500 weeks of partial disability benefits; there is no limit to the number of weeks of total disability benefits that can be received).

In 2017, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania declared the IRE process, as set forth in the Act, unconstitutional.  This set the powerful insurance lobby into full panic mode (though, frankly, the actual financial impact of the loss of the IRE process on the insurance industry is in dispute).  As a result, the PA legislature capitulated to the lobby and passed Act 111, reinstating the IRE process.  To the surprise of very few, the elected representatives chose to side with the insurance industry over the injured worker.

The last free seminar of the Continuing Education Series presented by Brilliant & Neiman LLC will take place on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., at the headquarters of the firm, 260 West Street Road in Warminster, PA.

This program will talk about the medical issues involved with an injured worker, the types of treatment seen with different conditions, and the insurance and billing issues that can arise. We will also address dealing with chronic pain, in the current environment where prescriptions for opioids have drastically dropped.

While the Community Education Series is free, and we want every injured worker (and those who care about him or her) to attend, reservations are required. To reserve a seat for the program on November 29, 2018, call (215) 638-7500 or e-mail gneiman@bnlegal.com.

For better or worse, there has not been much happening in the Pennsylvania appellate court system, so we have not be able to post any case law updates.  However, we would like to remind everyone that the next seminar in Brilliant & Neiman LLC’s Continuing Education Series is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the firm’s Warminster office (260 West Street Road, Warminster, PA 18974).

Following up on the successful September topic (“Settling a PA Workers’ Compensation Case – What the Injured Worker Has to Know”), October’s subject will be the PA workers’ compensation process.  Come learn about how a case progresses through the system.  What happens after a work injury, including the time frames and details.  What rights and obligations an injured worker has under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.  And, how what you don’t know may actually hurt you.

As with all of our Continuing Education Series, the program is absolutely free, and we want every injured worker (and those who care about him or her) to attend.  However, since space is limited, reservations are required.  To reserve a seat for the program on October 24, 2018, or for any of the additional programs, call 215-638-7500 or e-mail gneiman@bnlegal.com.

Brilliant & Neiman LLC is proud to announce a Continuing Education Series, with topics of interest to the injured worker in Pennsylvania.  The initial seminar in the series will take place on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., at the headquarters of the firm, 260 West Street Road in Warminster, PA.

The program on September 25, 2018 will be entitled “Settling a PA Workers’ Compensation Case – What the Injured Worker Has to Know.”  We selected this topic to start the series, since we are often asked questions regarding the settlement of workers’ comp cases in Pennsylvania.  Specifically, we will be discussing the timing of a settlement, the factors that go into determining the value of a PA workers’ compensation case (and the factors that, for reasons we will explain, do not), and the process (from the start of the settlement negotiations to the final approval of the Compromise & Release Agreement).

Additional programs will be held in October and November (for those marking their calendars, the dates will be October 24, 2018 and November 29, 2018).  The program in October will examine and explain the PA workers’ compensation litigation process, from the origin of a claim, and the starting of benefits, through litigation when an insurance carrier seeks to reduce or end the benefits.  We felt this topic would be helpful to address the stress an injured worker faces about the direction and future of his or her case.  Finally, the November program will talk about the medical issues involved with an injured worker, specifically, as dealing with chronic pain.  Depending on the level of interest, there could be additional programs added to this series.

Unfortunately, due to what appears to be a problem with Comcast business phone service across several states, we currently cannot be reached by telephone.  Please try to contact us by e-mail at gneiman@bnlegal.com or dbrilliant@bnlegal.com or by messaging us at our Facebook page.  We deeply regret this inconvenience, and hope Comcast has our service restored in the near future.

***I should note that the phones were back by that afternoon around 3:00***

 

Recently, an injured worker from Lower Bucks County, PA, called us.  When we discussed our Bucks County office locations, I mentioned our main office in Warminster and our satellite location in Trevose.  To our surprise, the injured worker was not familiar with Warminster.  As a proud commercial resident of Warminster Township, we wanted to make sure more folks knew about our town.

Warminster Township is less than four miles northwest of Philadelphia, and conveniently accessible to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95.  SEPTA bus service runs throughout Warminster, and we have our own regional rail station.  Over 32,000 residents call Warminster Township home.

While Warminster Township may be less than 11 square miles in size, it features “420 acres of active and passive recreation areas in 13 parks.”  The largest of the parks is Warminster Community Park, located between Street Road and Bristol Road, adjacent to Jacksonville Road.  This park boasts over five miles of trails, and features playground equipment, basketball courts and a unique “little city” area for kids to play.