Perhaps because its name seems vaguely comedic or less than serious, many people do not understand just how awful a road rash injury can be.
Even some of the definitions you might come across online don’t do justice to the pain and suffering it can cause, referring to it as a result of “grazing against the road,” makes it seem like a gentle brush…
As a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer of over 2 decades, I can tell you this for sure: road rash is no joke, and it certainly isn’t gentle.
In fact road rash is one of the most common injuries you can sustain as a result of a motorcycle accident, one of the most painful, and can even result in serious, permanent disfigurement.
Road rash results when a biker or passenger is thrown from their motorcycle and slides across the pavement.
Even at a relatively low speed, pavement acts like sandpaper against your body, abrading the skin and exposing raw nerves, and even bones.
Because of the physics of the way one falls off a bike, the hips, knees, shoulders, back, and palms of the hands are the most common body parts to fall victim to road rash. It is also common for unprotected areas of the face or skull to suffer road rash in a motorcycle accident.
This is why it is a good idea to wear a full face helmet with a visor.
If you have suffered a road rash injury from a motorcycle accident involving another party or negligent road condition please call Lee D. Gaber right now at 888-292-5352 for a free case review.
We will look at the cause of your accident, insurance coverage of the negligent party and your own coverage, your medical bills, and whether you are or will be out of work due to the injury.
3 Degrees of Road Rash
Road rash injuries are classified by doctors and the legal profession into 3 categories to indicate their seriousness.
- First Degree Road Rash – Similar to a fairly severe carpet burn, the skin becomes red and mildly inflamed. This usually does not require medical treatment.
First and second degree cases of motorcycle road rash should be washed and cleaned as quickly as possible to help avoid infection.
- Second Degree Road Rash – This is defined as when the outermost layer of skin is broken, while the underlying tissue remains intact. There is some risk of scarring with a second degree road rash accident, but this is typically minimal.
Second degree road rash is usually treated with over the counter products.
Sufferers of second degree road rash should wash dirt and debris from the injury, and gently clean the wound with soap and water. Blot it dry with a towel – do not scrub the injury as this increases your risk of scarring.
Before bandaging your rash, apply an antibacterial ointment, as well as a product like Tagaderm or DuoDerm to help it heal more quickly. Change your bandages every couple of days to reduce the chance of infection.
- Third Degree Road Rash – Third degree road rash is when all five layers of your skin have been torn down to the fat. These injuries are very susceptible to infection, and require immediate medical attention.
If you do not seek medical attention immediately, you may open yourself up to the possibility of permanent muscle and tissue damage or even a life-threatening infection. Third degree road rash may even require hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy to heal properly.
The most effective method of preventing road rash is to ride as safely as possible. Proper protective gear and heavy clothing provide some protection, but if you go down at highway speeds, you are likely in for some degree of this injury.
Pain and Suffering
Perhaps the worst aspect of a road rash injury is that a doctor can’t really take your pain and suffering away.
They can wrap you in gauze and salve the wounds to prevent infection, and minimize the scarring, and they can provide pain medication.
The fact of the matter is, if you have a serious road rash injury, you are probably looking at a long, fairly painful recovery, where even everyday tasks like walking or getting dressed lead to agonizing pain.
If the pain is projected to be permanent, we will include a pain and suffering aspect to the settlement demand.
As with any serious motorcycle injury, full compensation for road rash may include recovery of medical expenses and pain and suffering.
If you end up in the hospital for any length of time and miss work, your motorcycle attorney will fight to recover lost wages as well.
Remember, if you are involved in an accident resulting in road rash, my initial New Jersey or Pennsylvania motorcycle law firm consultation is totally free for you, and completely confidential.
To get the process started, call Lee D. Gaber right now at 888-292-5352 and we’ll review your case.