Semi trucks are far more dangerous than the average passenger vehicle, thanks to their increased size and weight. Despite federal and state regulations, however, truck drivers may take unnecessary risks in order to earn enough income or meet the company schedule. This is more common when truck drivers are paid by the mile.
What’s the difference when a driver is paid by the mile?
Different trucking companies offer different compensation schemes. For instance, some are paid per trip or contract, some are paid by the hour and some are paid on a salary basis. When drivers are paid by the mile, however, it can encourage drivers to take risks.
When drivers are paid by the mile, they’re directly incentivized to drive a set number of miles, if not as many miles as possible. Companies may prefer this system, since they pay directly for productivity, but it can be dangerous. For instance, a driver paid per mile loses money when they’re stuck in traffic or when roads are closed. The only way they can make up that money is to drive more miles. As a result, they may feel pressured to speed or drive more aggressively to make up for the lost time and income. Drivers may also decide to work longer hours, even if they’re fatigued.
While earning enough income is an understandable concern, this can be extremely dangerous for everyone on the road.
How might payment per mile affect your accident claim?
Accident claims are typically settled or litigated on a theory of negligence. To prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant had a duty of care to others (to operate vehicles safely and avoid causing harm to others), they breached that duty (speeding, aggressive driving, drowsy driving) and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual injuries.
If a truck driver paid per mile causes an accident, that fact may potentially be used as evidence that the driver was incentivized to take risks. It may also help to hold the employer liable under a theory of vicarious liability, which means employers are responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees. Since employers typically have more insurance coverage and financial leverage, plaintiffs are more likely to receive the full compensation to which they’re entitled.
Every claim is different, however. Call the Law Offices of Tim Misny to learn more about your legal options.
Discuss your claim with an Ohio truck accident lawyer right away
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your truck accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.