From taking a fall while running or biking, most of us have experienced some type of road rash. However, nothing compares to the road rash that can occur in motorcycle accidents. Beyond the immediate pain, motorcycle road rash victims also face the possibility of infection, long-term scarring, skin grafts, sepsis, and many other adverse effects.
Severe road rash injuries are traumatic on many levels and expensive to treat. Motorcyclists who have suffered road rash due to the negligence of another should aggressively pursue maximum compensation for all of their losses with help from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Keep reading for more information about the seriousness of road rash. If you need immediate legal assistance, contact Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop today for a free consultation.
Degrees of Road Rash Injury
The degrees of road rash are similar to the degrees of a burn injury. First-degree is the least serious type of road rash (what you would experience when skinning your knee, for example), while third-degree road rash represents serious trauma to the skin and underlying tissue. Unfortunately, the majority of road rash injuries in motorcycle accidents are third degree.
Medical professionals diagnose road rash according to the following classifications:
- First-degree: This level of road rash is little more than a bad scrape. The skin will be red and there might be some light bleeding. Treatment usually requires no more than cleaning the wound, applying a bandage, and keeping it clean while it heals.
- Second-degree: Second-degree road rash is much more serious, occurring when the top layer of skin – the epidermis – is broken. While this is extremely painful, it rarely requires extensive treatment. However, it is vital to keep the wound clean to avoid infection.
- Third-degree: At this level, road rash is beyond painful – it’s a medical emergency. It means the second layer of skin, the dermis, has been broken, potentially exposing fat, tissue, and even bone. Third-degree road rash calls for immediate and intensive medical treatment.
When motorcycle accidents result in serious road rash, particularly second- and third-degree, there is also an increased chance of other injuries. Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries may all occur when a motorcyclist strikes the asphalt. Multiple factors can impact the seriousness of road rash and other injuries in a motorcycle accident.
What Factors Affect the Severity of Road Rash?
The reason motorcycle accidents often result in second- and third-degree road rash is because of how fast motorcyclists are traveling when they hit the pavement. If you fall off your bike while traveling 15 miles per hour, the road rash can be serious and painful. Falling off a motorcycle while traveling 60 miles per hour, on the other hand, can be catastrophic.
While speed is the number one factor for how serious road rash is, it is far from the only factor. Others include weather conditions, the type of surface you land on, and how far you slide on the surface.
Also, the level of protective gear worn has a great deal of influence over the severity of road rash. A heavy-duty jacket, pants, and other gear may not keep you from all injuries, including road rash, but wearing protective clothing can go a long way toward lessening the seriousness of your injuries.
Getting Medical Attention for Road Rash
While you usually don’t need to seek medical attention for first-degree road rash, it’s recommended for second-degree road rash and critical for third-degree road rash. Seeking medical treatment is necessary for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, it’s the best decision for your health and well-being. After the shock and adrenaline subside following the accident, you may come to realize that your injuries are far more serious than you realized. Waiting to receive treatment puts you at greater risk of infection and other complications.
Beyond your well-being, receiving appropriate medical treatment is often integral to the success of a motorcycle accident claim. If the accident that led to your injuries was caused by the negligence of another driver, you need to show that you took your injuries seriously immediately after the accident. If you wait, it could cause the insurance company – and possibly a jury – to believe your injuries were not as serious as you claim.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle accidents are among the most traumatic types of vehicle crashes. Riders are at a significantly higher risk of serious injury and death in an accident, making the carelessness of another driver all the more dangerous.
The attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have over 233 years of combined experience representing clients in accident claims, including motorcyclists. We are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable and pursuing the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you suffered road rash or any other serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, please call (402) 241-5020 today for a free consultation. Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop serves clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and throughout Nebraska and Iowa.