Motorcycle Road Rash
Road rash is an injury that occurs when your skin makes contact with the road surface during a motorcycle accident. It's often caused by skidding along the ground after falling off your bike or colliding with another vehicle.
Are you the victim of road rash in a motorcycle accident caused by another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for motorcycle victims harmed by others.
Call motorcycle accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The Devastating Nature of a Road Rash Injury
Motorcycle road rash occurs when a victim falls on a rough surface and is dragged for an extended distance.
Despite most efforts to cover the entire body as a protective measure, leather and denim cannot always prevent skin abrasion during an accident that causes the victim to be thrown from their bike or pulled along the asphalt.
The skin exposed during a motorcycle crash or car accident might only cause minor injuries or slight bleeding, leading to immediate medical care. However, a common type of road rash injury tears the skin and the tissue beneath it.
Other motorcycle road rashes involve skin burns and, in severe cases, extend to the bone.There are three degrees of road rash injuries. Each type of road rash skin injury creates medical concerns, including:
- First-degree Road Rash: Minor rash injuries to the skin exposed to the elements are superficial skin scrapes, slight bleeding, cuts, and reddening in the affected area. Most people who suffer from first-degree road rash can recover independently with proper treatment.
First-degree skin injuries are typically treated by properly cleaning the affected area, applying over-the-counter antibiotic treatment to the minor injury, and covering it with a clean bandage.
- Second-Degree Road Rash: The second-degree stage of severity manifests as serious skin injuries that break the skin but do not affect deep tissue. With a second-degree road rash, there may be redness, pain, and bleeding where the victim requires extensive medical treatment, but the long-term prognosis is often very favorable.
Most people can recover without any permanent scarring.
- Third-Degree Road Rash: Our motorcycle injury lawyers have found third-degree injuries involving severe road rash to be a debilitating form of motorcycle accident injury. With a third-degree road rash, victims have near-complete skin loss. exposing deep tissue fat, muscle, cartilage, and even bone.
Victims must seek medical attention immediately.
In the most severe cases, muscle tissue can also be pulled away from the bone, resulting in surgical repair.
Other problems could include nerve damage that might require skin grafting surgery and scar tissue that requires plastic surgery.
The complications accompanying third-degree road rash include:
- Signs of infection
- Potential septic shock
- Possible need for amputation
- Thick and unsightly scars even after the victim received multiple skin grafts
Prompt medical attention is crucial after a motorcycle accident. You will want to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to rule out any serious injuries and to document your injuries. The severity of road rash will determine the extent of medical care required for optimal healing.
How to Treat Road Rash Skin Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident
According to Cleveland Clinic, road rash can be treated with first aid at the accident scene and immediate care from a qualified medical professional.
- First Aid for Road Rash from a Motorcycle Accident: All victims should remove their clothing as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Victims must treat road rash areas cautiously by applying an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection before medical help becomes available.
- Medical Treatment for Road Rash: Head to the emergency room or call 911 immediately after a motorcycle accident if any of the following conditions exist:
- The victim is experiencing severe pain that lasts more than two hours after first aid treatment
- The road rash continues to produce fluid, which is indicative of the presence of infection
- The road rash smells bad, has redness around it, or feels warm to the touch
- The victim experiences symptoms of shock such as paleness, confusion, nausea, and vomiting
While at the emergency room or hospital for motorcycle road rash treatment and care, you might be asked to give a blood or urine sample to test for potential infections.
Following a motorbike accident, occupational therapy can help you regain movement and sensation in your injured arm or leg.
Avoiding Road Rash Injury Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing proper gear when driving a motorcycle is the most effective way to prevent skin injuries during an accident.Motorcycle riders should also focus on the following:
- Driving defensively: Giving other drivers space
- Riding at safe speeds: Riding at a reasonable speed
- Using motorcycle headlights: In low-visibility conditions such as rain, fog, or snow
- Motorcycle safety course: It may be required for a motorcycle license in some states.
- Proper Gear for Motorbike Riders: Wearing clothing that covers all exposed skin and gloves and boots that go up beyond your ankle can do wonders when it comes to protecting you from road rash accidents.
- Department of Transportation-Approved Motorcycle Helmets: Wearing a helmet is must-do behavior to increase your chance of survival in an accident. Department of Transportation-approved helmets is "the most effective way to prevent brain injuries in the event of an accident."
- Reflective Clothing: Available in reflective vests, this can also prevent accidents by making it easier for drivers to see motorbike riders at night.
- Avoiding Bad Weather: Inclement weather (such as heavy rain, snow, and fog) can make visibility poor and road conditions less than ideal for riding a motorcycle safely.
- Avoid Road Hazards: Road construction zones, potholes, dirt roads, poor illumination at night, and unpaved road surface are common causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Avoid Heavy Traffic: Driving your motorcycle among motor vehicles can be dangerous, so it's best to avoid congested roads.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drug Impairment: Drinking alcohol before driving a motorcycle is illegal in many states and always enhances the risk of an accident.
- Avoid Lane Splitting and Lane Changes: The American Motorcyclist Association advises riders not to change lanes or pass other vehicles by driving between them, as this is dangerous.
- Riding Defensively: The best way to avoid road rash accidents is by always being prepared for the unexpected. Riders should be aware of their surroundings and vigilant about spotting any potential hazards.
- At-Fault Riders: Scooter riders who collide with a car or another motorcycle also risk road rash.
The International Motorcycle Safety Fund (IMSF) stated that motorcycles and cars "are not natural partners on the road. A car driver's blind spot is a motorcyclist's grave."
As such, drivers must watch for motorcycles by ensuring at least three to four seconds of following distance when traveling behind one.
If you have suffered road rash while riding a motorcycle, you know the pain and suffering from scrapes to your skin due to sliding on the asphalt.
Road Rash Injury Statistics
The CDC estimates more than 1 million emergency department visits per year due to motorcycle accidents, with the most common injuries being fractures, bruises, lacerations, and road rash.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) further reveals that "road rash" is one of the most commonly reported injuries associated with all-terrain vehicle accidents.
In addition, their study showed that many victims who seek medical attention with secondary road rash suffer traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries often.
Not all spinal cord injuries lead to paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, and tetraplegia. However, if you suffer road rash skin injuries, you should seek medical treatment immediately to receive an accurate diagnosis and identify any minor road rash, traumatic condition, or broken bones.
Open Wound Resulting from a Motorbike Road Accident
An open wound caused by road rash is vulnerable to infection and if left untreated, deadly septic shock. Be sure to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible.
You may also need to apply a medical-quality antibiotic ointment to the area. A non-stick gauze dressing that doesn't adhere to the wound is ideal for road rash. However, it's essential to seek professional medical help.
After a motorbike accident, low blood pressure can be a significant concern, as it can make you more vulnerable to serious health complications. In addition, an infected road rash can cause permanent scarring.
Road Rash Injuries: How to Diagnose
Road rash wounds are skin injuries caused by impact on another surface, such as asphalt or metal. The extent of the motorcycle road rash damage will depend on how fast you were moving when the accident occurred and whether you were wearing protective gear.
It may be possible to diagnose road rash based on visual inspection. However, an accurate diagnosis can only be made after a medical professional performs a physical exam.
Road rash treatment will vary based on the extent of a serious injury, from using a simple antibiotic ointment to prevent infection or undergoing an MRI to identify severe problems. However, many cases can be treated with over-the-counter medications, topical creams, ointments, or other treatments.
Road rash can be extremely painful and itchy during the healing process, especially if there is an open road rash wound and significant bleeding. Fortunately, several home remedies can help you feel better quickly. These include apple cider vinegar, honey, baking soda, aloe vera gel, and tea tree oil.
Seeking Medical Help If Rash Injuries Worsen
In most road rashes from motorcycle accidents, thin-layer injuries will heal within a few weeks without immediate medical attention. However, a second-degree road rash wound can cause skin discoloration or scarring, leading to the need for skin grafting.
In rare cases of road rash, serious infections may occur if the accident causes a break in the skin or leads to broken bones, damage to internal organs, or other injuries. In these severe cases, seek medical treatment from medical professionals and compensation for your damages.
Road Rash Prevention Tips
The most effective way to prevent road rash is by wearing proper protective gear, including helmets, durable jackets, pants with padding, long sleeves, boots or shoes that cover your feet completely, gloves with padding, face shields, and goggles.
As reported by Motorcycle-Superstore, these items are best for preventing road rash, as they protect from impact with another surface. They can also help you avoid other types of severe injuries during a motorcycle accident.
It is essential to have emergency medical insurance before getting on your bike for the first time since you never know when an accident may occur. In addition, this will allow you to visit your doctor without spending a lot of money to pay for treating road rash from a motorcycle accident.
The Emotional Trauma Caused by a Severe Third-Degree Road Rash
Our motorcycle injury attorneys recognize that the extent of skin injuries goes beyond physical impairment. In addition, victims often suffer from esteem issues when severe abrasions permanently alter their appearances.
It can be difficult for them to return to or maintain their status at work, and their scars can negatively impact their social lives. In addition, if you've suffered severe disfigurement or the loss of a limb, the emotional turmoil of adapting to living with a disability can be very taxing.
Nearly all types of road rash because of a motorcycle crash or car accident can be emotionally traumatic, especially if medical treatment of road rash is necessary.
An Insurance Company Handling Motorbike Accident Claims
Many insurance companies handle motorbike accident claims much like any other type of vehicle accident claim.
The first thing you'll need to do is notify your insurance company of the accident. You should do this as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
Be sure to have all pertinent information ready, such as the accident's date, time, and location and any witnesses' names and contact information.
Filing Personal Injury Cases
If the road rash results from a motorcycle accident, the victim might recover damages from the at-fault driver. To do this, the injured motorcyclist must prove that the other driver was negligent, such as speeding or running a red light.
Lost wages are the biggest financial impact of a motorcycle accident, and the plaintiff can seek damages for lost earnings.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Review
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is an award-winning accident injury law firm that has successfully recovered compensation for thousands of clients. However, we recognize that no one ever truly recovers from an injury such as a motorcycle road rash.
Still, we will do everything to ensure that you are not saddled with expensive medical obligations.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation so that we can get to work on your behalf. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience and a proven track record of success assisting motorcycle accident survivors and their families.
Our personal injury lawyers will review your legal options and help you determine how best to proceed with your case.
Our law office can handle your legal and personal injury matters. You will never need to worry about whether you can afford our services because all of our lawyers work on a contingency basis and will only collect a fee when we have secured damages on your behalf.