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Breath After years of litigation surrounding the Intoxilyzer 5000, the State of Minnesota has implemented the use of a new breath testing machine, the DataMaster DMT-G. The new breath testing device was purchased in hopes of effectively ending the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000 and the trouble surrounding the machine. In 2010, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) spent approximately $1.7 million for 280 of the new DataMaster DMT-G devices.  The DataMaster has large differences between the Intoxilyzer 5000. The DataMaster is designed to take two readings of a driver’s blood-alcohol content at once, using two different methods. Although this ...

MN Workers’ Compensation For Volunteers

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation for Government Volunteers carefull While Tennessee may take the official title of the Volunteer State, the famous “Minnesota nice” character leads many to take on volunteer positions throughout the state.  What happens, though, if that nice, helpful volunteer work results in injury to the volunteer?  You might be surprised to learn that, in some cases, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits. Who is eligible? The reason that benefits may be available is that Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits are available to “employee.”  The word “employee,” in turn, is defined to include certain types of volunteers. While private volunteers are ...

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Is a heart attack an on-the-job injury in Minnesota?

Heart Attack From Work? by Chris Rosengren The idea that being stressed can cause a heart attack is widely held, especially by those with experiences of demanding jobs and/or bosses. And even more widely-accepted is the idea that there are in fact jobs which can be highly stressful at times—it’s not hard to find people with personal experience of this! So, if you have a heart attack and you believe it was caused by stress you were experiencing at work, is that an on-the-job injury for which you can claim workers’ compensation? The answer is generally yes, but the exact answer ...

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How To Determine If Your Minnesota Injury Is Work Related

In today’s news of “my day at work could have been worse”, be glad you’re not the Alabama logger who saw a snake on the road while riding in a logging truck at work. After the man jumped out and attempted to catch the snake, it bit him—and turned out to be poisonous! Unfortunately, because catching the snake was not part of his employment, the man’s injury was not compensable under the state’s workers’ compensation scheme. As in Alabama, Minnesota law requires that an injury happen in the course of employment in order for you to be able to recover ...

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Sick Building Syndrome and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Laws

Does your workplace building need a trip to the doctor? Although the illness might be different than a back-to-school cod, buildings can get sick too.  “Sick building syndrome” (SBS) is the generic term for a variety of health issues that can be associated with a place of work.  The causes are problems with the building itself, often relating to air quality.  That can include poor ventilation resulting in irritation from indoor chemicals as well as adverse health effects from furniture outgassing and mold. Where this turns into a legal problem is when workers become ill from one or more elements ...

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Sick Building Syndrome and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Laws

Does your workplace building need a trip to the doctor? Although the illness might be different than a back-to-school cod, buildings can get sick too.  “Sick building syndrome” (SBS) is the generic term for a variety of health issues that can be associated with a place of work.  The causes are problems with the building itself, often relating to air quality.  That can include poor ventilation resulting in irritation from indoor chemicals as well as adverse health effects from furniture outgassing and mold. Where this turns into a legal problem is when workers become ill from one or more elements ...

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Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Bankruptcy

What happens to your Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits when you file for bankruptcy?   Considering filing for bankruptcy but worried that you might lose your workers’ compensation benefits by doing so? Under both federal law and Minnesota law, these benefits are generally exempt from claims by creditors, and Minnesota law in particular has this situation well-covered. State law specifically provides that workers’ compensation claims are exempt from seizure or sale for the payment of any debts or liabilities. What that means as far as bankruptcy is that your workers’ compensation benefits can generally be “reclaimed” from your bankruptcy estate and ...

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Who decides a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim?

Minnesota workers' compensation courts   If you were injured on the job in Minnesota, you've probably been looking into making a workers' compensation claim (smart move). But who is it who will actually decide your claim? Do you have to go to court?   Workers' compensation judges   In Minnesota, workers' compensation claims are first decided by special judges who work for the Workers' Compensation Division. The Workers' Compensation Division is part of the Office of Administrative Hearings, which is an administrative office. That means that the courtroom you go to for a workers' compensation claim is being run by ...

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Who decides a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim?

Minnesota workers' compensation courts ; If you were injured on the job in Minnesota, you've probably been looking into making a workers' compensation claim (smart move). But who is it who will actually decide your claim? Do you have to go to court? ; Workers' compensation judges ; In Minnesota, workers' compensation claims are first decided by special judges who work for the Workers' Compensation Division. The Workers' Compensation Division is part of the Office of Administrative Hearings, which is an administrative office. That means that the courtroom you go to for a workers' compensation claim is being run by ...

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Disability Values for Injuries to Fingers & Hands Under MN Workers’ Comp Act

Under Minnesota’s system of workers’ compensation, permanent partial disability benefits are awarded based on a finding of what percentage of whole body impairment the worker has suffered. This percentage is based, in turn, on a schedule of various injuries which allocates different percentages to different injuries.   While it might seem slightly cold and calculating to determine the correct amount of benefits based on a mathematical formula for what essentially amounts to “how injured are you?” the percentage system does have the advantage of making it relatively straightforward and easy to determine what sort of compensation you can expect for ...

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