Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident Can Be Serious

Home » Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident Can Be Serious
July 22, 2022
Edward Smith

Serious Complications Can Occur in Motorcycle Road Rash

Motorcyclists who are involved in accidents may suffer road rash, a potentially serious injury. Most people are familiar with the pain associated with road rash, but they may not realize that it can have serious consequences as well. It may be possible for the injured person to seek compensation if the accident injury was caused by a negligent driver or government entity. Since more serious cases of road rash can result in permanent scarring or require reconstructive surgery to repair, seeking compensation can help cover those high medical expenses. 

What Exactly Is Road Rash and How Does It Occur?

People often don’t realize how serious road rash can be, but more than 20,000 motorcyclists seek emergency treatment for this injury every year, according to the National Trauma Data Bank. Although motorcycle riders often wear long sleeves as a form of protection, even leather jackets, a hard spill on a concrete surface or skidding along cement or gravel, these may provide little protection. 

Risks and Complications Associated With Road Rash

Consider the scenario in which you are traveling along on your motorcycle minding your own business when you are struck by a negligent driver as you are enjoying your day. After landing on your arms, you develop road rash with pieces of glass, dirt and pebbles embedded in your arm or leg. Fortunately, it appears that nothing is broken. Need some advice? This friction injury can cause serious injuries and complications, so you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room right away. Document your serious injury by calling the police as well as your accident attorney since this may be useful in the future if you place a claim for compensation.

Road Rash Levels

There are two different levels of road rash, which include:

Compression injuries – A compression injury occurs when a part of the body is caught between two hard surfaces and dragged along the road. The arms, legs and torso are most apt to suffer a compression injury. The seriousness of a compression injury can depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Speed at impact and when the body strikes the ground
  • Weather conditions
  • Contact surface
  • How far the rider slid along the ground
  • What the rider was wearing

Avulsion injuries – An avulsion road rash injury occurs when the skin is stripped off from landing on the ground. Injuries can range from superficial to damage to underlying muscles, fat layers or bone.

Road Rash Categories

Like burns, this friction injury is classified by degrees. The severity of these degrees is as follows:

  • First-degree: An injury that results in a first-degree skin abrasion is minor in nature. Some small scrapes, redness and bleeding may occur.
  • Second-degree: The skin is partially removed, which can result in pain, bleeding, swelling and scarring. 
  • Third-degree: An abrasion of the third degree can cause the skin to flay off, as well as cause damage to the bones, muscles and nerves. Scarring and infection are high risks.

 Potential Complications

It is possible to suffer serious complications from this friction injury, such as:

  • Road rash can cause scar tissue to restrict movement in an affected body part. Depending on the severity of the condition, the individual may have difficulty using their arm, leg, hand or foot. 
  • A bacterial infection can cause pain, swelling, pus discharge, and symptoms that resemble the flu. Septic shock can occur, which is a life-threatening condition.
  • Skin abrasion can cause traumatizing tattoos. The condition occurs when foreign objects, such as asphalt, glass, sand, or metal become embedded in the skin. Minor road rash can result in traumatic tattoos.
  • There can be emotional trauma. In addition to the psychological and emotional consequences of being scarred or disfigured by an accident, a serious friction injury can leave you feeling ashamed or self-conscious.

Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Sacramento. Road rash can heal in most cases, but some leave scarring or become infected. When a negligent driver or other entity was the cause, you may be able to place a claim to recover compensation. Call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We can be contacted online also.

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Photo attribution: Image by Atom-Riders from Pixabay

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