Understanding Road Rash after a Motorcycle Wreck

Motorcyclists are more at risk on the road because they don’t have the same protections as other vehicles. When there’s a crash, one of the most common injuries a rider can get is road rash. This painful condition happens when their skin rubs up against the road. Road rash can range from scrapes to deep wounds that have lasting impacts on the motorcyclist’s life. If someone else caused the crash, the motorcyclist could seek compensation for their road rash injury.

In this post, we’ll discuss what road rash is. We’ll also look at how serious it can be, potential complications, and how a lawyer could help.

Remember that we’re sharing this information to provide you with a basic overview. If you have questions about an accident you were in, please call us. Every situation is different and we’re here to help. Plus, all initial consultations are free.

What is Road Rash?

Road rash is a painful injury that occurs when the skin forcefully contacts a rough surface. Many of us have likely experienced minor road rash from falling off a bike or sliding into home plate. However, a more severe form of road rash can occur when a motorcyclist is thrown off their bike during a collision. When this happens, urgent medical attention may be necessary.

How Serious is Road Rash?

Like burns, road rash can have different levels of severity. We use three degrees to classify the seriousness of your injury.

Here’s a little bit more about each degree:

  • 1st degree. This is the least serious type of road rash. Symptoms may include minor abrasions, swelling, and bruising. While first degree road rash is painful, you can often treat it at home. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly and use an antibiotic ointment.
  • 2nd degree. Second-degree road rash injuries are serious and may need medical attention. Bleeding and swelling are common, and you may have exposed muscle or tendon. This severity of road rash is very painful to the touch. It’s important to get treated by a medical professional to avoid potential scarring.
  • 3rd degree. In this most severe form of road rash, skin may be exposed to the fat layer. These deep wounds can cause extreme pain – or none if there’s nerve damage. Third-degree road rash requires urgent medical attention. Treatment could involve surgical skin grafts.

Unfortunately, second- and third-degree road rashes are common after a motorcycle injury. Chances are high that there are more injuries than road rash after a motorcycle crash. For this reason, it’s a good idea to seek medical care after any crash.

Potential Long-Term Impacts of Road Rash

Your recovery from road rash depends on how severe your injury was and the medical care you received. While many wounds will heal, there are some potential long-term impacts of road rash. These include:

  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Traumatic tattooing 
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Limited range of motion
  • Anxiety, depression, or embarrassment about scars

You can reduce some of these risks by seeking prompt medical care after your crash. For example, you may be able to avoid infections or severe scarring.

Seeking Legal Compensation for Road Rash Injuries

If someone else caused your motorcycle accident, you could file an injury claim for road rash. Typically, the other driver’s insurance policy will pay you for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. (Note that an injury claim is separate from a property claim. Your property claim will cover the cost to repair or replace your bike.)

We understand that you will want to know how much of a settlement you could expect to receive. But, every case is different. In other words, it’s difficult to state what your injury case may be worth without speaking to you.

Factors That Change Value of your Road Rash Claim

What we can share is that there are several factors that can greatly influence the value of your case:

  • Seriousness of your injuries. The more serious your injury, the more money you are likely to receive. We can use medical bills and doctors’ reports to back up your claim. For instance, if you needed skin grafts, the surgical records become evidence that you had serious road rash.
  • Impact of your injuries. If your road rash was only superficial, the insurance company isn’t likely to offer much in the way of a settlement. On the other hand, if you needed months of physical therapy, you are likely to receive more compensation.
  • Loss of wages. An injury settlement can also cover lost wages. This includes more than the days you missed from your job. For instance, we account for our clients’ missed overtime and bonus opportunities. In very serious cases, you may not be able to work your same job – or any job. As a result, this will impact your earnings potential.
  • Policies available and their limits. When we take on a new client, we first identify which insurance policy will pay for their damages. Most often, we will go after the other driver’s insurance company. But if that driver isn’t properly insured, then we’ll need to see if a client’s uninsured motorists’ coverage could kick in. In the case you were hit by a commercial truck driver, we may have a larger policy limit to file a claim against. Bottom line, insurance policy coverage can play a huge role in what type of settlement you end up getting.

The best way to know what your road rash injury case could be worth is to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. As the facts of your crash become known, your attorney will have a better idea of what a fair offer might look like.

Speak with a Motorcycle Injury Attorney for Free

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? Remember, it’s always free to speak with one of our attorneys. Plus, there’s no obligation. If you choose to use our services, you’d only pay a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. To get started, please give us a call, or fill out the short form on our website.

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