Road rash from a motorcycle accident, also known as road burn, is a painful injury that occurs when a motorcyclist’s skin makes contact with scrapes along the road surface. Road rash essentially scrapes away the skin, leaving raw areas very similar to a burn from flames. Also much like a burn from flames, the damage can even extend deep enough to tissue, muscles, and bone.
Motorcyclists who leave skin exposed to the elements are at the highest risk for road rash during an accident, but road rash may occur even through clothing. Severe road rash can require hospitalization for treatment and may leave a rider permanently disfigured due to severe skin trauma.
Treating Road Rash
Victims can treat mild road rash by cleaning the injured area and keeping it clean, covered, and hydrated while the skin heals. Mild road rash, like a first-degree burn, typically does not need extensive physician care. Most minor road rash injuries will heal on their own over a few weeks’ time.
Moderate road rash may result in serious bleeding and scarring. Again, keeping the injured area clean and hydrated during healing is essential. Leave any scabs that form on the area alone to keep the wounds sealed; allow scabs to fall off on their own. You should have a doctor professionally clean, inspect, and dress the wound. Have the doctor show you to the correct way to change bandages and care for the healing areas.
Severe road rash occurs when the top layers of skin scrape off completely and expose the tissue, muscle, and even bones underneath. These severe injuries will require immediate medical attention and can cause shock in an injured rider. Recovering from severe road rash may require staying in the hospital for skin grafts.
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Complications of Road Rash
One of the most serious complications of road rash is the risk of infection. When the skin scrapes against the pavement, dirt and germs can enter the fresh wounds and gravel can become imbedded in the flesh. If the victim does not properly clean the wound, these contaminates can enter the body and spread to the bloodstream, causing infection.
Even after cleaning the wound, infection can still set in as the wound heals if the victim does not keep the wound clean and properly covered. Victims need to change bandages regularly; your doctor may prescribe a medicated ointment to keep the wounds moist and protected from infections.
Another complication is scarring, which can lead to permanent disfigurement and even difficulty with mobility. Road rash on the cheeks and chin may cause complications with facial expressions and eating due to the rigidity of the re-grown skin or skin grafts. Road rash on the arms, legs, and torso can cause loss of range of motion and flexibility due to the tightness of the scarred areas.
Disfigurement from road rash can also cause emotional complications. Many road rash survivors suffer from depression due to their appearance, and the entire ordeal of surviving a motorcycle crash can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Recovering Damages from a Road Rash Injury
When seeking damages from a road rash injury from a motorcycle accident, the same rules apply as with any Ohio personal injury claim. You must file your injury claim within the two-year statute of limitations. In order to recover damages, you must also establish that the motorcycle accident was someone else’s fault and not your own.
Recovering from road rash may require several days, even weeks in the hospital, and keep you from returning to work. A road rash injury claim should seek damages including:
- Medical expenses, present and projected future expenses
- Lost income from being unable to work during recovery, future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement
Insurance companies rarely account for the pain and suffering and permanent disfigurement damages, as they want to pay out the smallest amount possible. You should leave the assessment of these damages to an attorney.
Motorcycle accident attorney David Bressman helps motorcycle accident victims seek a fair settlement for their injury claim. Let Bressman Law collect the necessary evidence and negotiate your insurance claim to obtain the best possible settlement.