Road rash is a common injury suffered by motorcycle riders and cyclists but can happen to anyone involved in an accident. For some victims, road rash injuries can be very severe, can become infected leading to other medical problems and are quite painful. We’ll walk through 4 facts to know about road rash after an accident.
#1 Recovering from Road Rash Injuries Takes Time
Road rash is another term for a skin abrasion. When the body makes rough contact with a rough surface like pavement, gravel or dirt, the skin and even muscle and bone can suffer damage in a way that causes what is known as road rash. In most situations, road rash can be treated at home and usually has no serious consequences. However, more serious road rash injuries may require surgery and other extensive treatments to heal.
Many victims of road rash injuries experience a lot of pain during the healing process particularly around the edges of the injuries, regardless of how extensive the road rash is. The pain associated with the leaving process can trigger emotional and psychological trauma from the ordeal. In other words, road rash injuries can take time to overcome.
#2 There Are Three Different Types and Degrees of Road Rash Injuries
When a rider or pedestrian comes into contact with the ground or pavement in an accident, there are three different types of road rash injuries that could occur:
- Avulsion. The most common type of road rash, avulsion is when the skin has been scraped away to expose layers of fat, muscle, and possibly bone.
- Compression. Compression occurs when a part of the cyclist or rider’s body is stuck between two objects, most often the bike and the road. Bruising, muscle damage, fractures and loss of limbs can occur.
- Open Wound. Similar to an avulsion injury, though larger in area. At a minimum, the wound may require stitches though severe cases could involve skin graphs and other complicated surgeries.
Like a burn injury, road rash comes in three different degrees to indicate the severity of the injury. First-degree road rash is minor and involves only the outer layer of the skin, requiring at-home treatment only. Second-degree road rash, which impacts the lower layers of skin and may get into muscles, tendons or nerves, presents more risk for complications and should be seen by a medical professional. Third-degree road rash is the most serious category, involving the deep wounds into the body and the exposure of the muscle and bone beneath it. These most serious injuries create the greatest risk for further complications and infection.
#3 Road Rash Injuries Are Prone to Infection
Anyone with road rash injuries should watch for signs of infection. Any skin wound can lead to infections like staph infections or tetanus. In the most severe cases, the skin can start to die because of a type of bacteria present which causes life-threatening problems. Common signs of infection with these types of skin wounds are:
- Increased pain after the first day
- Swelling and increased redness
- Pus or fluid draining
- Foul-smelling drainage
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, and body aches
If you believe your road rash injuries are becoming infected, you should seek medical treatment right away.
#4: Liability for Road Rash Injuries May Rest With a Negligent Driver
If you or a loved one suffered road rash injuries as the result of a motorcycle, bike or car accident, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party. Road rash can be painful and take a long time to recover from, along with other injuries that may have been sustained in the accident. Victims of negligent drivers can file an injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for the cost of medical bills, lost income as well as pain and suffering.
Motorcycle riders and bicyclists can try to prevent road rash injuries by wearing protective clothing and gear while riding. Road rash injuries occur most frequently in summer months when riders are least likely to be wearing long pants and sleeves made of a thick, sturdy material.
If you suffered road rash or any other injuries due to a motorcycle, bicycle, or car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, let the top-rated attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, help you understand your legal options. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims and have helped people just like you move forward after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.