1 CONNECTIONS Personal Injury Workers Compensation Social Security Disability Medical Negligence Bad Faith Insurance Claims Class Action Litigation The HGSK Law Firm s Newsletter Winter Issue # LAW1 (5291) HABLAMOS ESPAÑOL Our dedicated team of lawyers can help you in the following areas: Personal Injury Workers Compensation Medical Negligence Car and Truck Accidents Social Security Disability Insurance Claims Class Action Litigation FREE CONSULTATION! HOME AND HOSPITAL VISITS! EXPERIENCE. EXCELLENCE & RESULTS. COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP. DIVERSITY WITH BILINGUAL STAFF IN ALL OFFICES. INSIDE THIS ISSUE HGSK Offices / Services 1 The Affordable Care Act 2 Be Aware of Exceptions for Limited Tort in PA 3 TLLCC Gala Chairs HGSK Partners Goldberg & Burdo 4 HGSK Attorney Mimi Newman Publishes Book 4 HGSK: A Partner in the State 5 HGSK: A Partner in the Community 6-7 Our Lawyers on the Move 8 Philadelphia Office Check our End of the Year Report HGSK Celebrates First Full Year Reading Office 1835 Market Street, Suite N. 5th Street Philadelphia, PA Reading, PA (267) (610) Allentown Office Harrisburg Office 1136 Hamilton Street 1319 Derry Street Allentown, PA Harrisburg, PA (484) (717) Holland Office Kennett Square Office 92 Buck Road 113 South Broad Street Holland, PA Kennett Square, PA (215) (610) Lancaster Office Lebanon Office 227 N. Duke Street 906 Cumberland Street Lancaster, PA Lebanon, PA (717) (717)
2 Page 2 HGSK Connections Newsletter The Affordable Care Act By Beth A. Bowers, HGSK Attorney Much of the recent media coverage concerning the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare or simply the Affordable Care Act (ACA), focused on the December 23, 2013 deadline for uninsured individuals to buy health insurance that became effective on January 1, As that time has now passed, the next critical date under the ACA is March 31, 2014, when the open enrollment period ends. Uninsured U.S. citizens must secure health insurance through an employer-funded plan, through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or through a government-funded program such as Medicaid by that date in order to avoid being assessed a penalty for non-compliance. With the exception of a few exemptions, the penalty for not having insurance in 2014 is the greater of these two options: (1) 1% of household income, or (2) $95.00 per adult and $47.50 per child under 18, up to a maximum of $ per household. Anyone who secures health insurance after March 31, 2014 will be assessed a pro-rated penalty for each month without insurance in These penalties will increase in Under the ACA, individuals are mandated to have minimal essential coverage under a qualifying health insurance plan. Plans that do not meet the criteria for minimal essential coverage include workers compensation plans which provide coverage only for treatment related to a recognized work injury and no other health conditions. Oftentimes, injured employees who cannot work as a result of their work injuries may lose any health insurance previously provided by their employers. Prior to the ACA, a worker in that position could elect to live without health insurance as any treatment for the work injury should be covered by the employer s workers compensation carrier. However, under the ACA, these individuals must obtain general health insurance regardless of whether their work-related treatment is covered separately, and regardless of whether they are currently working. Nonetheless, financial assistance or free coverage may be available to these individuals. Anyone seeking to obtain health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace should file an application on (English) or (Spanish). These sites should be used by Pennsylvania residents, as Pennsylvania does not have its own state-run exchange. Upon completion of the process, applicants will be advised if they or their family members qualify for government-funded plans such as Medicaid or CHIP, or will be provided with options of plans for purchase. More information about the ACA can be found at those sites, or from any of the attorneys at HGSK. ATTORNEY BETH A. BOWERS CELEBRATES 1 st ANNIVERSARY AT HGSK Beth joined HGSK as a Workers Compensation Associate in December of As an attorney in the firm s Workers Compensation Department, Beth represents the interests of injured employees in Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Malvern, and surrounding regions. Prior to joining HGSK, Beth represented self-insured employers and insurance companies for a Workers Compensation defense firm in the Philadelphia suburban area for nearly 5 years. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, PA after graduating from Widener University School of Law in 2006.
3 HGSK Connections Newsletter Page 3 Be Aware of Exceptions to Limited Tort in Pennsylvania By A.J. Nardozzi, HGSK Attorney If you have the misfortune of being in a motor vehicle accident as the victim of a negligent driver you are likely to find yourself speaking to an insurance adjuster shortly thereafter. Insurance adjusters will downplay the injuries you have suffered and pressure you to enter into a quick settlement agreement for a low figure. In Pennsylvania, adjusters will inform you that your selection of limited tort on your own insurance policy restricts your ability to recover damages for pain and suffering. Not so fast. The election of limited tort in your own car insurance is not an absolute bar to your ability to recover damages for pain and suffering. Pennsylvania law provides a set of four exceptions which allow for full recovery regardless of tort selection. First, if the at fault driver is operating a vehicle that is registered in another state, Pennsylvania law allows all injured parties to recover damages for pain and suffering irrespective of tort selection. Second, if the at fault driver is either convicted of, or accepted into, an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, damages for pain and suffering are recoverable. Third, if an injured party is either driving or riding in a commercial vehicle at the time that an injury occurs, that injured party may recover damages for pain and suffering. The final exception is the most common but, also, the most difficult to prove. If an injury suffered during a motor vehicle accident is determined to be serious in nature, the bar to recovery for pain and suffering for those who have elected limited tort coverage in their insurance policy is lifted. Insurance adjusters will make this exception seem impossible to meet, but that isn t true at all. Proving that an injury is serious requires the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. To guarantee that you recover everything that you are entitled to in the wake of an accident, you should contact a HGSK attorney. ATTORNEY A.J. NARDOZZI CELEBRATES 1 st ANNIVERSARY AT HGSK A.J. Nardozzi joined HGSK in December of Prior to joining the firm, A.J. served as an Assistant District Attorney in the City of Philadelphia for over five years. There, A.J. first-chaired more than thirty jury trials as lead counsel and litigated hundreds of other nonjury trials in the Court of Common Pleas. A.J. has prosecuted major felony crimes including Attempted Murders, Aggravated Assaults, and other crimes of violence. This background provides A.J. with valuable trial experience as well as a thorough understanding of how to build a strong case through investigation and evidence gathering. Before serving as an Assistant District Attorney, A.J. was a law clerk in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Criminal Division. A.J. earned his B.A. in Political Science from American University in A.J. then earned his J.D. from Villanova School of Law in 2006 where he served as an executive member of the Moot Court Board.
4 Page 4 HGSK Connections Newsletter HGSK Firm Partners Julianna Burdo and Terry D. Goldberg Served as Chairs of the 26 th Annual Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation Rose Gala The Rose Gala is an opportunity to recognize outstanding companies and individuals for their contributions to a child care. It is one of two major events held to raise funds to support the mission of the foundation. The funds raised each year enable TLLCCF to have a direct effect on thousands of children through the grants and awards given to child care teachers, providers and child care facilities. The grants and awards are used to improve teacher training, curriculum and/or infrastructure, which have a positive outcome for the children. The TLLCCF was founded in August 1987 by Kay and Fred Lokoff to honor the memory of their daughter Terri who died tragically in a car accident in The TLLCCF is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization is dedicated to making America better by improving early care and education. The TLLCCF s funds have directly benefited thousands of children, program providers and students studying early care and education. The Foundation also recognizes and rewards teachers nationwide for excellence and dedication. Author Of "Pennsylvania Motions In Limine HGSK Attorney Mimi Newman HGSK attorney Mimi Newman is the author of "Pennsylvania Motions in Limine," a legal book regarding the admission and preclusion of evidence in court. The book was first published in 2007 as part of a practice series for civil trial attorneys. The 7th edition for was released recently. The book is published by Thomson Reuters, one of the world's leading sources of information for businesses and professionals. It is a valuable resource and reference guide for attorneys who are involved in trial. Evidentiary rulings can have a significant impact on the nature of the information presented to a jury, and their deliberations.
5 HGSK Connections Newsletter Page 5 Philadelphia, PA L-R: Legion Post 840 Commander Jose Melendez (Ret. Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector), PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille and Pedro A. Cortés Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Honors the 65th Infantry Regiment, The Borinqueneers Pedro Cortés was invited to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ceremony to honor the 65 th Infantry, a U.S. Army regiment made up almost exclusively of Puerto Rican soldiers. Also known as the Borinqueneers, the soldiers of the 65 th Infantry Regiment fought with distinction in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The regiment is currently under consideration to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. The event took place at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial. PA Adjutant General Wesley Craig read the Governor s Proclamation. Other presenters included Chief Justice Ron Castille, State Senators Christine Tartaglione and Mike Stack, State Representative Angel Cruz, and City Councilmembers Maria Quiñones Sanchéz and David Oh. Picture to the Left: HGSK Partner Pedro A. Cortés, Penn State President Dr. Rodney Erickson, and The Progreso Group President and PSU Alumni Norman Bristol Colón Picture to the Right: Pre-Game Tailgating at the Penn Stater Hotel. HGSK Partner Pedro A. Cortés at Penn State vs. Illinois Game Pedro Cortés, a Penn State University Alumni Fellow, visited with PSU President Rodney Erickson, other administrators, faculty and alumni during Penn State s game versus Illinois. Cortés is a graduate of Penn State Dickinson School of Law and Penn State Harrisburg.
6 Page 6 HGSK Connections Newsletter HGSK: A PARTNER IN THE COMMUNITY A World of Gratitude: Office of Regional Development HGSK s Office of Regional Development, through the leadership of its director Pina Ugliuzza, has implemented a solid community partnership campaign to provide for those in need during the holiday season. From Reading to Lancaster and from Lebanon to Allentown, HGSK team of attorneys and staff were involved in Thanksgiving and Christmas events during the firm s collective effort to thank and share. Since immigrating here from Italy, my family has been truly blessed. In the spirit of gratitude for the many blessings bestowed in each member of this law firm, we do our small part to make a difference in this world, said Pina Ugliuzza. Throughout the year, HGSK participates in more than 50 community events based on the belief that for it is in giving that we receive. Our bilingual and bicultural staff and attorneys embrace our commitment to be more than just a successful law firm. We strive to be true partners in the community.
7 HGSK Connections Newsletter Page 7 HGSK: A PARTNER IN THE COMMUNITY The 2013 Lebanon Family Health Services: "Celebrating Your Health...Latin Style!" As an attorney, my priority number one is to represent my clients with the highest level of professionalism. As a citizen, my priority number one is to be an active member of the community. -Bernardo Carbajal HGSK Attorney Lebanon Family Health Services held their 2013 "Celebrating Your Health...Latin Style!" It was a huge success with at least 40 organizations present and more than 250 members of the community participating! Bernardo Carbajal, one of HGSK s attorneys, was a guest Speaker at the event. He gave a presentation on the topic of Social Security: Understanding the differences between SSD & SSI and when it s necessary to hire an attorney. The class quickly filled with about 20 attendees eager to learn the differences and have their questions answered. HGSK has been participating in this event annually for the past 9 years, offering our services and supporting all in the Lebanon Community.
8 Page 8 HGSK Connections Newsletter LAWYERS CLUB OF PHILADELPHIA James C. Haggerty, Esquire has been elected to a three year term of the Lawyers' Club of Philadelphia. The Lawyers' Club began in 1982 as an organization to promote collegiality among attorneys and the prompt and fair administration of justice in the court system. The Club promotes camaraderie among members of the bench and bar in the Philadelphia area. The Lawyers' Club hosts events honoring the judiciary in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania throughout the year. HGSK is proud that one of its partners has been appointed to the Board of Directors of this prestigious organization. EXCELLENCE & RESULTS A trial verdict recently secured by HGSK attorney Scott J. Schleifer was featured in the November 2013 edition of the publication, Verdict Search - Pennsylvania. HGSK was successful in obtaining the maximum amount recoverable by law for an uninsured client whose foot had been injured by a hit-and-run driver in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Office EXPERIENCE. EXCELLENCE & RESULTS. COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP. DIVERSITY WITH BILINGUAL STAFF IN ALL OFFICES. Reading Office 1835 Market Street, Suite N. 5th Street Philadelphia, PA Reading, PA (267) (610) Allentown Office Harrisburg Office 1136 Hamilton Street 1319 Derry Street Allentown, PA Harrisburg, PA (484) (717) Holland Office Kennett Square Office 92 Buck Road 113 South Broad Street Holland, PA Kennett Square, PA (215) (610) Lancaster Office Lebanon Office 227 N. Duke Street 906 Cumberland Street Lancaster, PA Lebanon, PA (717) (717)
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