Motorcycle accidents are among the most physically traumatic types of motor vehicle collisions. Even with a helmet and protective gear, motorcyclists can suffer significant injuries. A common injury is road rash – skin and soft-tissue damage from contact or friction with the road. If you suffered road rash in a motorcycle wreck, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation from the driver.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash refers to a range of injuries that occur when the body comes into contact with asphalt, gravel or another road surface. It is often characterized by abrasions, lacerations or friction burns on a motorcyclist’s body from skidding across the road after being thrown from the bike. It can also include avulsion, or the stripping away of skin, and compression injuries from being crushed between two objects. Road rash injuries are diagnosed by degree, similar to burn injuries:
- First-degree. First-degree road rash affects the outermost layer of skin only (the epidermis). It is a superficial scrape that may have some light bleeding.
- Second-degree. Second-degree road rash breaks the epidermis and affects the second layer of skin, the dermis. It may present as a deep cut or laceration.
- Third-degree. Third-degree road rash is the most severe, where the dermis is peeled away to expose the underlying layers of fat and muscle tissue.
All degrees of road rash are painful for a victim and can take several weeks to fully heal. Second-degree and third-degree road rash may cause permanent scarring, skin discoloration or disfigurement. A victim is also susceptible to infection and complications from road rash, especially if the injury is deep.
How Is Road Rash Treated?
The treatment plan recommended for road rash will depend on the degree of injury and the specific circumstances. Treating first-degree road rash generally only requires cleaning and bandaging the wound. Second-degree road rash may require wound cleaning or debridement to remove pieces of asphalt, dirt and debris lodged in the skin before bandaging. For third-degree road rash, the victim may need surgery and skin grafts.
Will Road Rash Leave a Scar?
The amount of scarring that a victim experiences due to road rash – if any – depends on the case. Third-degree road rash, for example, will almost certainly cause scarring and permanent deformity in the affected area. Severe road rash can also result in complications such as irreparable nerve damage and impaired muscle or tendon function. Road rash scarring sometimes takes the form of traumatic tattooing, where foreign bodies (such as asphalt or metals) become embedded in the skin.
What Damages Are Available?
Motorcyclists in Arizona have the right to file injury claims for road rash. If the other driver caused the crash, his or her insurance company will be responsible for covering the costs. All drivers in Arizona must carry minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage insurance to pay for at-fault accidents.
As an injured motorcycle accident victim, you can file a claim to seek compensation for your medical costs, hospital stay, lost wages, motorcycle repairs and other losses. You may also be eligible for pain and suffering damages to pay for disfigurement and emotional distress connected to road rash. If you suffer long-term or permanent damage from road rash, this can increase the value of your injury claim.
How Can You Prevent Road Rash?
Protect yourself as much as possible as a motorcyclist in Arizona by wearing the right gear when you ride. This includes long pants, a thick motorcycle jacket, vest, gloves, boots and a helmet. Covering your skin with tough materials or special gear designed for motorcycling can serve as a type of armor if you get into an accident. If you do sustain road rash in a motorcycle accident in Glendale, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. We can help you pursue fair compensation.