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Minnesota Law Blog

Hands-free phone bill will have to wait another year

Talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous – and potentially deadly. In recent years, the number of drivers who use smartphones behind the wheel has steadily risen, with 1 out of every 4 crashes attributable to distracted driving. It’s a public safety issue of epidemic proportions.

For proponents of a bill that would make it illegal in Minnesota to talk on a handheld phone while driving, this year’s legislative session was looking hopeful. The bill was set to move forward with widespread bipartisan support. The governor promised he would sign it into law once it hit his desk. And numerous organizations across the state – including the Minnesota State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies – backed the bill.

Report sheds light on why so many workers are killed on the job

The statistics are staggering. On average, 150 people across the country die every day from work-related accidents, injuries and illnesses. In 2016 alone, more than 5,000 people were killed on the job – and another 50,000 died from occupational illnesses. Many of those deaths were preventable.

A recent report issued by the AFL-CIO sheds light on what contributes to job-related fatalities. Examining data from 2016, the report highlights two key areas of focus that must be addressed to reduce fatalities: Workplace violence and chemical exposure.

For Minnesota firefighters, job-related PTSD takes a big toll

It takes a special calling to work as a firefighter. You often have to put your own life on the line to save others. While you make a tremendous impact on those lives, the job also makes an impact on you. The death and destruction you encounter on a near-daily basis can take a toll on your mental health.

It's a bigger deal than most people realize

Invisible injuries from motor vehicle accidents

In the aftermath of a traffic accident, it's easy to focus on the physical injuries. They're often obvious to onlookers: the bandages, crutches and perhaps confinement to a wheelchair. But what about the injuries you can't see - the ones that affect the mind as well as the body?

Increasing evidence shows that the psychological toll of motor vehicle accidents can be just as significant as purely physical injuries. Yet, because those effects are more difficult to pinpoint than a broken leg or herniated disk, they often get overlooked. And they're far more prevalent than most people realize.

Keeping personal property separate from marital property

What is common law property?

Minnesota law follows common law property guidelines which essentially states that any property that is acquired by either member during their marriage will be considered their personal property unless the item is put into both of their names. While this practice is not unusual especially when it comes to the purchase of items such as cars, it can be an important factor in the event a divorce occurs.

Medical mistakes continue to trend upward in Minnesota

When it comes to medical mistakes, understanding how and why they happen is critical to preventing them. Each year, the Minnesota Department of Health releases a report addressing medical errors across the state. The incidence of these errors has trended slightly upward since 2014. Last year, that trend continued, with 341 total errors resulting in 103 injuries and 12 patient deaths.

Where do most pedestrian accidents occur in Minneapolis?

It's no surprise that Minneapolis, our state's most populous city, has the highest rate of pedestrian accidents. What is surprising, though, is where these accidents take place. The worst intersections for pedestrians aren't downtown, despite the busy workday crowds and rush-hour traffic. Instead, they're just south, in the flourishing Uptown and Lyn-Lake neighborhoods.

Injured in a car accident while visiting Minnesota?

Minneapolis has become an up-and-coming winter tourist destination - thanks, in part, to Super Bowl LII. If you were in town to support your team or participate in the festivities, you may have encountered firsthand the challenges of driving downtown. In fact, traffic across the metro can be difficult on an average day, much less an extravaganza-packed week with thousands of vehicles flooding the freeways.

So what if you got into an accident while visiting Minnesota from out of state? Whether a fender-bender or catastrophic collision, auto accidents are incredibly stressful - all the more so when they happen away from home. Here's what you should know when dealing with an out-of-state accident.

3 tips for safely navigating Minneapolis on Super Bowl Weekend

The big weekend is finally here. It's been nearly four years in the making. And although Vikings fans may still be reeling from the heartbreaking end to such a hopeful season, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this groundbreaking event at our state-of-the-art stadium.

Even if you don't have tickets to the big game itself, you might be planning to participate in the festivities - perhaps the Super Bowl Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Super Bowl LIVE along Nicollet Mall, or the many performances, photo ops and pop-up events around town.

However, you'll need to beware of more than just Eagles fans. Traffic, of course, will be horrendous, and getting around could very well be a nightmare.

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