Bailey Rhodes, 21, is lucky to be alive. The 21-year-old truck driver came home for Christmas after spending a month at WakeMed for extensive surgeries due to catastrophic injuries suffered when he was hit by a speeding car.
Rhodes was unloading cars from his tractor-trailer on South Wilmington Street in Raleigh when he was struck by a car traveling at speeds of 45 mph. The impact threw him about 25 feet in the air, according to Rhode’s father, Jamie, knocking him unconscious. The collision broke Rhode’s back and arms, and he lost one leg.
Rhodes was escorted home from the hospital last week by dozens of fellow supportive truck drivers and haulers, and is now recuperating and learning to use a prosthetic leg. The other driver, David Junior Reynolds, has been charged with failure to reduce speed before colliding with a pedestrian and vehicle.
The dangers to truckers and haulers
Overall, transportation industry accidents accounted for 38% of all occupational fatalities in 2018, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tractor-trailers and heavy truck drivers reported the largest number of fatal accidents.
Unfortunately, some of the most common injuries happened when the victim was not driving, as 11% of deaths occurred when workers were either driving or riding off a public road, or when pedestrians were struck by a motor vehicle. And of pedestrian worker fatalities that occurred in 2018, 46% occurred among three groups:
- heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- construction workers
- grounds maintenance workers
Compensation for catastrophic injury
Truckers already face hazardous working conditions on a daily basis due to the nature of their work. The reckless or negligent actions of another driver can alter your life forever, and so it is important to find out how you can get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Worker’s compensation in North Carolina focuses mainly on reimbursement for economic loss due to injury, not pain and suffering, and can include medical treatment, temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits.
However, it is also possible to seek further damages if the other party is at fault. Finding a committed and successful legal advocate will help you to recover the maximum compensation for your injury.