Road rash is more than a few scrapes and bruises. It can be a serious medical condition that requires significant treatment and results in serious damages. If you suffered road rash after a motorcycle accident, it’s important to understand the medical treatment necessary for your injuries and how to protect your legal and financial interests as you move forward with your recovery.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash occurs when your skin has been scraped on the pavement during an accident. As a motorcyclist, you lack the protective metal of a vehicle that prevents other motorists from suffering this type of injury.
When you fall or skid along the pavement your skin develops abrasions which can result in injuries to your nerves, and the effects can be both immediate and last long term. For example, you may feel instant pain and discomfort from your road rash, but going forward, you may also suffer from nerve or tissue damage, infection, and scarring.
Road rash, like burns, is often classified according to degrees. Here is a brief look at the three degrees of road rash:
- First degree road rash. This is the least serious type of road rash injury. Typically, it involves some scrapes and red marks on the skin. You may be able to treat this yourself if you wash it carefully, make sure any debris is removed, change the dressing regularly, and watch carefully for signs of infection.
- Second degree road rash. If you suffer second degree road rash, the skin is typically broken and often bleeding. While no damage has been done to the underlying tissue, you may still benefit from medical attention to manage the pain and bleeding. It’s possible for there to be scarring.
- Third degree road rash. This is the most serious type of road rash, and it can be debilitating and requires medical treatment. If you suffer from third degree road rash, your skin may have been scraped away. The muscle, nerves, and tendons may be exposed and injured.
Medical Treatment is Important to Your Recovery
Immediate medical treatment can help prevent serious and long-term complications of second and third degree road rashes. A health care provider should:
- Clean your wounds
- Provide medication for pain and to prevent infection
- Teach you how to take care of the wounds
- Check on the wounds for signs of infection
In severe cases, surgery and physical therapy may also be required.
Legal Help Is Important to Your Recovery
Even if another motorist was clearly at fault for your motorcycle accident injuries, you may have to fight for a fair recovery. The motorist’s insurance company will likely want to pay as little as possible for your road rash injuries. Hiring a motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer can help you collect for:
- Costly medical bills. If you suffer road rash in a motorcycle accident, you may be faced with expensive medical bills over and above those for the immediate treatment of your wounds. If your injuries are serious, you may require cosmetic surgery, and you may need more than one surgery to repair the damages, restore your appearance, and reconstruct the area of skin that’s been torn away. These types of medical expenses can be costly, leaving you with bills you may be unable to pay.
- Lost wages. If you are forced to take time off work due to your road rash injuries, you may lose income for those missed days. If you suffered severe disfigurement, it's possible you may be off work for a long time or entirely unable to return to your position due to the changes in your appearance. If, for example, your job required that you greet the public or you were some type of spokesperson or public representative for a product or company, you maybe be unable to earn the same salary as you did before the accident. This loss of earning potential should be factored in as part of your lost wages.
- Pain and suffering. The emotional pain, suffering, and trauma you experienced in the crash should be included in your road rash personal injury claim. If you have suffered disfigurement, you may experience stress, anguish, shame, and embarrassment that factors into a loss of self-confidence. You may not feel like going out in public; you may find that your social life changes. And because of these changes, your claim should include compensation for what are considered non-economic damages—those that can’t be substantiated such as a medical bill.
We Can Help
No one can take away the pain and inconvenience of a road rash injury, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the financial stress of your injury. To learn more about how we can help, please contact our experienced lawyers today to schedule a free case review. We’ll explain how we can help protect your rights and your recovery.