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Minnesota Law Blog

The importance of slowing your speed in construction zones

When the weather begins to warm up in Minnesota, we begin to think of summer days on the lake and bonfires in the evening. Then, before you know it, you’re snapped back to reality by orange construction signs, traffic cones, and workers wearing hard hats. While it’s true that warm weather means enjoying your favorite summer activities, it also means construction season.

Driving in construction zones is no one’s favorite summer past time but is a necessary evil of living in our state thanks to the long winters. Nearly 1,100 car accidents occurred in Minnesota construction zones in 2017, totaling one percent of all car accidents for that year in the state.

How can bicyclists reduce their chance of an accident?

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Now that the weather is getting nicer, many people are looking to make the most of Minnesota's too-short summer.

A lot of people will turn to biking as an easy way to get fresh air and exercise. However, what part-time cyclists may not realize is what safe biking really looks like. Here are a few behaviors all bikers should make into habits:

Age, race and gender may affect the likelihood of pain treatment

It can be tough to get someone to believe in your chronic pain. The only one who is experiencing it is you—and it’s probably completely invisible to others.

When the person who doesn’t believe you is your doctor, you may not get the help you need. But the reasons you aren’t getting treatment might have nothing to do with the actual cause of your pain.

Is it ever safe to use your cell phone while driving?

Everyone talks about how we shouldn’t text and drive. Ever since our phones became more for texting than talking, we haven’t heard much about calling and driving. But it is still dangerous.

The Minnesota state legislature is trying to get everyone to put their devices down. A new law will make it illegal to have your phone in your hand when you are behind the wheel.

3 reasons your workers' compensation claim could be denied

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After a workplace injury, you probably have a lot to deal with. You may have to pay huge bills for your medical treatment, on top of not being able to work. A workers' compensation claim could make things easier for you.

Your employer's insurance company makes the first decision on whether they compensate you for your injury or not. You should know the reasons they might not accept your claim, and what you can do about it.

Exactly how dangerous is driving in the rain?

Everyone knows to be careful when driving in nasty weather. Our parents told us to go slower around turns, allow more time to stop and keep those wipers running. Here in Minnesota we know exactly how bad it can be even as winter winds down.

But how much does bad weather actually affect the chance of accidents? One study shows that the risk of driving in rain or snow is much higher than previously thought.

MN high court ruling on ski case: Use common sense on the slopes

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Skiing and snowboarding are risky activities. As every participant in these winter sports can attest, even the most seasoned and cautious of athletes can get injured. Icy conditions, falls, errors in judgment, freak accidents - any number of factors can lead to serious or even life-threatening injuries.

For this reason, ski hills require participants to sign waivers before hitting the slopes. Skiers and snowboarders who get injured generally can't turn around and sue the ski hill for negligence.

Three things to know about winter chain-reaction crashes

AdobeStock_131430945.jpegWhen winter weather is at its worst, ice and snow can cause a spike in vehicle collisions and spin outs. During a snowstorm that recently hit the Twin Cities area, a 17-car pile-up shut down Interstate 694 between Vadnais Heights and Shoreview for at least an hour.

This incident did not cause any life-threatening injuries, although serious injuries are commonly caused by car crashes like this one. Additionally, crashes like this one can quickly become an insurance tangle. However, there are three considerations for drivers to keep in mind about winter chain-reaction crashes.

Tuberculosis outbreak hits Mankato State

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Once a widespread killer, tuberculosis has been reduced to a rarity in the United States, thanks to advances in antibiotics and infectious disease control. But it's still virulent overseas. And sometimes, it hits home.

A recent outbreak of the illness in southern Minnesota has been traced to Mankato State University. At least eight people associated with the university have come down with active infections, and another 30 have been identified as latent carriers (meaning they tested positive for it but haven't developed any symptoms and aren't contagious). The state Health Department is warning that anyone who has been on campus since August 2016 should pay attention to respiratory symptoms that could indicate an infection.

Are saunas good for you?

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Saunas are all the rage right now, especially in the Midwest. They're a welcome respite from the bone-chilling cold this time of year. After letting the dry heat penetrate to the core, the steamy plunge back into subfreezing temps is as invigorating as it gets.

Claims abound about the health benefits of saunas. The Finnish swear by them. And a German take on them - involving even more intense degrees of heat, steam and physical activity - has become popular locally.

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