Road rash is a term used to describe any type of soft tissue damage or skin abrasion caused by scrapes against gravel, pavement, or other surfaces. These injuries are most frequently sustained by motorcycle and bicycle riders, as they are incredibly vulnerable to coming into contact with the ground or other objects during accidents. Depending on a number of factors, including the protection worn by victims and the speed a motorcycle or bicycle was traveling prior to impact, road rash injuries can range in severity. From minor abrasions to extensive soft tissue damage and bone breaks, these injuries can significantly impact the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of victims.
The road surface is key to the severity of your road rash. Gravel, bits of broken glass, road debris, and metal fragments can become embedded in your skin, especially during an accident. These items can increase the likelihood of bikers developing serious infections and can prolong recovery time. They are as follows:
– First Degree Road Rash: This type of road rash is very minor and usually does not require medical treatment. It can be a bit painful, but the skin is not broken, just reddened.
– Second Degree Road Rash: This type of road rash involves a minor breaking of the outer layer of skin. There can be bleeding, pain, and limited movement, but over the counter ointment is usually all that is needed to treat this rash.
– Third Degree Road Rash: This is extremely severe and occurs when all 5 layers of skin are exposed. This road rash is very susceptible to infections and those infections can be life threatening, especially MRSA. In addition, this type of road rash can result in permanent disfigurement, requiring multiple cosmetic surgeries and skin grafts to repair. IV antibiotics are often needed and permanent muscle, nerve, and tissue damage can occur without proper treatment.
Despite the caution taken by most riders and while they do obey the rules of the road, one cannot account for the negligence or malfeasance of drivers. As long as the necessary care is being taken to ensure the greatest level of safety for the rider, distracted drivers are always a bit of a wild card . If you or someone you know has been the victim of circumstances similar to the ones previously mentioned, please contact an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Atlanta GA motorcyclist can trusts, to better understand your rights and options.
Thanks to contributor Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into motorcycle accidents, road rash, and personal injury practice.