Legislative Involvement: How Does It Make Your Law Firm Better?

By July 18, 2019Uncategorized

When fair and just laws are in place, it will be far easier for law firms to effectively serve their clients. Lawyers can help federal, state, and local governments create and implement better laws. 

By getting involved in the legislative process, attorneys in Georgia are in a position to help to make the community a better place for everyone. Lawyers can recommend, promote, and facilitate the development of laws that achieve their legislative purpose and truly protect people. 

At MG Law, we are proud to be leaders in the community. Our law firm is dedicated to community involvement — including ongoing involvement with the legislative process. We want to ensure that all legal professionals in our state are fully informed on pending legislation and are able to make their voices heard in the process. 

The Importance of Legislative Involvement

The attorneys at MG Law are committed to leading the way on advancing and improving legislation in Georgia. Michael Geoffroy is an active member of the Georgia State Bar Advisory Committee on Legislation. He served as the chair of the committee in 2017 and 2018. The goal of the committee is to “prepare for legislative action” and to ensure that the legal field is “informed as to all proposed legislation affecting members of the Bar.”

The Advisory Committee on Legislation gives attorneys in Georgia an opportunity to have a significant impact on the way things are run in the state. When law and public policy intersect, it can create many complicated and challenging issues. By getting involved in the legislative process, lawyers have a chance to make their voices heard and to advocate for important changes that will help people. The skill that lawyers have can make all of the difference. In addition, lawyers can help to ensure that legislation is crafted in the appropriate manner, so that there are no unintended consequences that may hurt their clients or cause unforeseen problems in the field. 

Of course, Georgia attorneys should always stay up to date on the latest legislative developments related to their specific area of practice. By getting involved in the process, you will not only know what changes are coming but you will also have an opportunity to influence future legislative developments. Remember, the law is something that is always changing. 

Proposed Safety Improvement: Increase the Minimum Insurance on Commercial Trucks

As an example of legislative action that can help make a difference, a bill has been introduced to increase the minimum insurance requirements for commercial trucks. The Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (SAFE-HAUL) seeks to reform commercial truck insurance requirements to better meet today’s financial risks. Currently, the minimum commercial truck insurance requirements are as follows: 

  • $300,000 for commercial trucks weighing less than 10,001 lbs;
  • $750,000 for commercial trucks weighing more than 10,001 lbs;
  • $1,000,000 for commercial trucks transporting oil; and
  • $5,000,000 for commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials. 

These insurance limits were initially put into place in 1984 — they need to be adjusted for inflation. According to a calculator provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cumulative rate of inflation since 1984 is approximately 146.5%. To put that number into perspective, that means nearly 60 percent of the commercial truck insurance protection in Georgia has been eroded by inflation alone. 

Even more alarming, the skyrocketing costs of healthcare have gone up far faster than the overall rate of inflation. The minimum insurance standards for commercial trucks are far too low. When major accidents happen, injured victims often have costs that exceed the minimum insurance limits. One study that was published by the Trucking Alliance found that a large percent of truck accident settlements were in excess of $750,000. 

The minimum truck insurance requirements are simply out of date. Legislative action is needed to fix this issue. To ensure that everyone on the road is fully protected, the minimum insurance required for a truck weighing more than 10,001 lbs and transporting non-hazardous materials should be raised from $750,000 to $5,000,000. Other insurance minimums should be increased proportionately. 

Speak to Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Today

At MG Law, we are proud to be leaders in court and leaders in the community. Our law firm will continue to advocate for fairness, health, and safety. To learn more about what we can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact us today. With office locations in Conyers, Covington, and Atlanta, we serve communities throughout Georgia, including in Newton County and Rockdale County.

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