Whether you ride a motorcycle as a pleasurable hobby, to participate in motorsports, or just to save gas on your daily commute, your risk of an accident is greater than if you were to take a car. One very common type of injury sustained in any motorcycle crash is called “road rash.” What exactly is road rash, and how is it treated? Here’s what you need to know about this painful type of injury, and how you may be able to get compensation for your medical bills and other expenses after a crash.
Types of Road Rash
Road rash is primarily an abrasion or avulsion wound of the skin and other tissues, and is caused by friction between the body and the ground when the rider slides or is dragged during a crash. Road rash is so common that a frequent saying by riders is “dress for the slide, not for the ride.” Wearing body protection when you ride, such as leathers or other riding armor, can help prevent road rash injuries in some cases. However, even the best armor can’t completely prevent injury. It’s also a common misperception that denim is enough to stop road rash—but pavement will eat through denim in the blink of an eye, leaving bare skin exposed to the grinding effects of the road.
Like a burn injury, road rash can be graded into three categories, or degrees of injury. These are:
- First degree. The most minor, but still painful, type of road rash is a first-degree abrasion. This type of road rash involves skin that is red and painful, but generally unbroken. With adequate home care, the prognosis for a full recovery is typically excellent.
- Second degree. This degree of road rash injury involves breaking of the skin. The area will be red and irritated and very painful. The skin will be marked with significant scrapes or open cuts, plus bruising and bleeding that may require treatment by medical professionals. The prognosis for recovery remains good and chances of permanent disfigurement or scarring are low.
- Third degree. These are the worst kinds of road rash injuries. They extend below the skin and into deep tissue. A third-degree road rash is more of an avulsion wound than an abrasion, meaning that the affected tissue has been torn from the body. The skin has been ripped away in this type of injury, and there is damage to subcutaneous fat or muscle tissue. Bone may be visible or damaged, as well, particularly at the elbow, hip, or knee where there is little natural padding to protect the rider. Third-degree wounds are immediate emergencies and may require surgery and skin grafts to repair. The chance of infection is very high, as debris from the road is ground into the body. Heavy scarring and disfigurement is likely, or amputation may be necessary.
The treatment of road rash depends on the severity of the wound. It may be necessary to remove road grit and dirt from the wound and there is often a need for painful debridement procedures, which promote healing by removing damaged or dead tissue. Multiple skin grafts are frequently required, and plastic surgery may be necessary to reconstruct severely damaged parts of the body.
Get Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve suffered severe road rash in a motorcycle crash and it wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries in a court of law. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights after an accident so you can get money you may be owed to cover your medical bills, rehabilitation, physical therapy, repair or replacement of your motorcycle, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering, and more.
To get help from an experienced personal injury attorney after your motorcycle wreck, contact Wayne Wright LLP today. We’re here to stand up for the rights of those who have been injured due to negligence, recklessness, and wrongdoing, and we’re ready to help you now. To speak to a legal professional about your accident, call us by phone, send an email via our contact page, or click the live chat box right now to arrange a free consultation.