Rochester Law Blog

Examining the Glasgow Coma Scale

Many in Rochester may believe that the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury (or witnessing a family member or friend sustaining one) are remote. Yet TBIs are much more common that most may think. In fact, information shared by the International Brain Injury Association shows that one million Americans are treated for TBIs annually. Of those who receive such treatment, 80,000 are believed to be discharged from their treatment with some form of disability related to their injuries. Such disabilities may require extensive care and rehabilitation, which can translate to inordinate medical costs. Knowing what those costs may be could influence the decision to seek legal action against those who may be responsible for their TBIs. 

Yet how can one know such a prognosis so soon after a brain injury? Clinicians have developed a test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale which measures the extent of a TBI. Knowing the extent offers an idea of a TBI victim's chances of recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the test is administered by measuring the following elements: 

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal communication
  • Motor skills 

Are e-scooters a slow ride to the emergency room?

Perhaps you were among the many in Minnesota who eagerly awaited the arrival of electric scooters. This new transportation trend has taken the nation by storm, and e-scooter rental companies are popping up in cities from coast to coast. These lightweight vehicles offer riders many benefits. They are ridiculously cheap to rent, require no special training or license to operate, and will supposedly protect the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.

What e-scooters are not reducing, however, is the number of trips to the emergency room. University and medical researchers have begun compiling data related to the number and kinds of injuries e-scooter accidents can cause.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Many people in Minnesota have heard of a prenuptial agreement, which allows couples to decide on the division of assets in the event of a divorce before they marry. However, few people may be familiar with a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement does pretty much the same thing for you and your spouse that a prenuptial agreement does. The main difference is that, as suggested by the name, you enter into a postnuptial agreement after the marriage takes place rather than before. 

According to Forbes, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have a bad reputation. The misconception seems to be that people who enter into such an agreement have no faith that the marriage will last. In fact, such an agreement, whether prenuptial or postnuptial, is a way for you and your spouse to prepare for the potential end of your marriage while still hoping for the best possible outcome. 

Severe damage to both vehicles in a Minnesota collision

Motor vehicle accidents can cause a great deal of damage to people and property alike. A collision near Hanska, Minnesota between a van and a semi-trailer resulted in severe damage to both vehicles. Both drivers received injuries as well, though the extent is not altogether clear.

Fortunately, both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash on Monday morning. The semi-trailer was heading south on County Road 13 in Brown County, Minnesota, while the van was traveling north. The van allegedly struck the semi-trailer after crossing the center line. Damage to the semi-trailer resulting from the crash was severe, while the van was a total loss.

Legal pot may be on the docket for 2019

People in Minnesota who support the recreational use of marijuana have no doubt watched as other states around the nation moved to make this legal over the past few years. To date, marijuana is not legally able to be used recreationally in Minnesota as the state has only allowed tightly controlled use for medical purposes. That, however, may well change in 2019.

According to a recent report by Forbes, Minnesota is one of nine states believed to be most likely to pass a bill legalizing the use of recreational pot this year. After the recent election in November 2018, the state's House of Representatives will now be controlled by members of the democratic party and the incoming Governor is known to be in favor of legalizing marijuana. The Governor-to-be was the person who actually wrote the first cannabis bill for Congress. 

Finding a new job after a conviction

After being arrested for and charged with a criminal offense, many people in Minnesota may understandably become worried about how the experience could impact their futures. When applying for a new job, it is common to expect that the potential employer will conduct a background check. If that background check reveals a criminal past, the candidate might be at a disadvantage for being hired for the role. 

There are ways to get a job even with a criminal record. Monster.com recommends that people should have their own background check run before they apply for any jobs. This will give them insight into any errors and allow them to have the mistakes corrected. It will also show them exactly what will appear on the check so they can be ready to speak to the facts when the time comes.

Did you know that 'conscious uncoupling' is actually a thing?

Gwyneth Paltrow put the term "conscious uncoupling" on the map when she and her then husband, Chris Martin, divorced. The media grabbed onto the term and even made fun of Paltrow, believing that she simply made it up.

Would it surprise you to know that the Macmillan dictionary actually includes the phrase? Its definition acknowledges the fact that many couples agree that their lives would improve if they were no longer married and that divorce is a positive step for them. It implies that couples want to remain friendly in order to maintain an amicable co-parenting relationship for the sake of their children.

Drunk driving risks in Minnesota

At this time of year, it is common that people in Minnesota find themselves attending multiple holiday events. These may include company parties, neighborhood gatherings, family functions and more. As alcohol is frequently served at these functions, people may be more at risk for being on the road with drunk drivers as many people refuse to find alternate transportation or opt not to consume alcohol when going out.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that between the five years from 2013 through 2017, alcohol was involved with anywhere from 24 percent to 30 percent of vehicular fatalities statewide every year. During this five-year span, a total of 498 lives were lost on Minnesota roads, highways and freeways at the hands of drunk drivers.

How accurate are field sobriety tests?

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense for driving under the influence of alcohol, it will be important to learn about the defense process and how you or the person charged can protect their rights. One element that can be important here is understanding the evidence used against the defendant. In a drunk driving case, this generally includes the results of some field sobriety tests.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, none of the tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are completely accurate. There may be multiple common health or medical conditions that impede your ability to execute the tasks as instructed by an officer. Even the mere fact of being overweight to the point of being clinically obese could prevent you from balancing perfectly on one leg. Some neurological conditions may mimic the eye jerking that is examined during the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

When can I get my child support order modified?

If you have been ordered to pay child support, you may wonder if you will always have to pay the same amount. Minnesota courts realize that situations change, so child support orders are not written in stone. You do have the option to have them modified. However, because the court is very busy, you cannot just request a change any time you want.

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, there are very specific circumstances which trigger your ability to request a support order modification. First, would be in you have a major income change or if your child's other parent has one. A major change would be an increase or decrease in income of at least 20 percent. The court will not issue a change in the order unless the amount would change by 20 percent and be a difference of at least $75.

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