What You Need To Know About Road Rash Injuries

motorcycle against a wall
Madeleine Jones
October 9, 2021

Even when motorcycles are still part of the motor vehicle industry, there are many things that make them very different from other vehicles on the road. One of these is the risk of suffering from a road rash injury when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. A road rash can be minor or a life-threatening injury, especially when the motorist ignores helmet laws. The good news is that in many cases, victims of road rash can get compensation for their losses and injuries.

Increased Risk Of Injury For Motorcyclists

Riding a motorcycle is naturally more dangerous than driving a regular vehicle because the rider is more exposed to injury in an accident. Those driving a vehicle often have a heavy vehicle with seatbelts, airbags, and other safety measures protecting them. At best, a motorcycle rider has a helmet and other protective gear. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration around 80 percent of motorcycle riders who are involved in an accident incur injuries. In many accidents, these injuries are extremely severe and can lead to long-life disabilities that affect the victim’s lives for decades.

What Is Road Rash

Whenever people think about road rash they think about a simple skin abrasion that happens when skin slides along the road, like concrete and asphalt. If a road surface has a lot of debris such as broken glass, rock salt, or loose rocks, it can increase the severity of the road rash. Road rash can happen on its own or in combination with other injuries such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fractures. In many cases, the road rash can be minor, but in others, it can be life-threatening.

Road rash can be reduced or prevented by using safety gear like:

  • Long sleeve shirts or jackets
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Leathers
  • Helmet

Types of Road Rash

There are different severities and types of road rash. How severe the road rash depends on how bad the crash was, the type of surface the accident took place in, and whether you were wearing safety gear. The following are the three types of road rash:

  • Avulsion: the most common type of road rash. It’s when the skin is scraped away and there are layers of muscle, fat, or even bone exposed as a result.
  • Open wound: this type will most likely require stitches. In the most severe cases, the open wound will have to undergo a skin graft.
  • Compression: it happens when a limb is caught between two objects, like the motorcycle and the road. This can cause bruising, broken bones, and muscle damage.

How To Assess A Road Rash Injury

The severity of road rashes can vary. If you have a road rash injury you may not be able to ascertain how bad your injury is. Road rash may require immediate medical care if there is:

  • Deep cuts that need stitches
  • Skin that is hanging from the wound
  • Significant bleeding
  • Bone, ligaments, or tendons exposed

If you don’t have any of these symptoms, it’s still a good idea to get medical attention as soon as you can to ensure your safety and health. It is possible for you to have more injuries that require medical treatment.

Treatment For Road Rash

If you are not in need of emergency medical attention, you still need to treat and take care of your road rash when you get home. If you leave it untreated, you could get an infection or have really bad scarring. Contact your medical provider for more advice and make sure you follow the next steps to help you heal properly:

  • Wash the wound gently with mild soap and water. It can be painful, but it is vital to do si to remove any debris and dirt that could cause infection.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment
  • Apply a non-stick dressing to the entire area

Repeat the steps above once a day. You can stop applying the dressing on the wound after it is no longer oozing, usually about two weeks after the injury. However, even if the injury is treated appropriately, a bad road rash can lead to permanent scars, intense pain, and even infection. If you experience any complications, you can contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to get your questions answered and learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

Severe Road Rash

Sometimes road rash can be extremely severe. It should definitely not be treated at home. It can be very painful and even disfiguring. Road rash can take forever to heal in some cases, leading to medical bills and pain and suffering. It can be so severe that you may need to miss time at work, either because you have medical appointments for the treatment or because you are in pain and can’t work. 

Road Rash Damages You Could Claim

Like with other motorcycle accident injuries, you can file a claim to get compensation for your damages and injuries related to the road rash. The damages you can claim depend on the circumstances of your accident and your injuries and how they impact your life. Victims of road rash can claim two categories of damages: special and general.

General damages, also known as non-economic damages are very subjective and don’t have a determined value. General damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of society
  • A Loss of enjoyment of life
  • disability

Special damages, also known as economic damages, are very objective and include monetary losses, including:

  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Property damages
  • Lost business opportunities
  • Transportation costs to medical appointments

Get The Help You Need For Your Road Rash

If you suffered from a road rash injury in a motorcycle accident, get medical attention. Then, consider talking to one of our experienced motorcycle attorneys to discuss if you have a case. Call Cogburn Law today at (702) 747-6000

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I was hesitant about getting a lawyer for many reasons, however the entire staff at Cogburn reassured me that everything would be okay. They were always very attentive and provided detailed answers to any questions I had. I would like to thank the entire staff for all of your hard work, making sure that my daughters and I were compensated for the car accident, and making sure we received all the necessary treatment. You were awesome. If you need an attorney that won’t look at you as just another case, that’ll return your calls/emails I definitely recommend this team.

Jessica F.