How to Treat Road Rash from a Motorcycle Accident

How to Treat Road Rash

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

April 29, 2023

Motorcycle Accidents Cause Road Rash Injuries

Motorcycles are popular for a variety of reasons. They provide cheaper car prices, lower maintenance costs, excellent fuel efficiency, and a feeling of adventure. Colorado is a motorcycle enthusiast’s dream. Motorcyclists may enjoy Colorado’s great weather by riding through its varied terrain, including beaches, farmland, orange orchards, and more.

Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle comes with its own set of dangers. In 2017, there were 5,172 motorcycle deaths in the United States, 550 of them occurring in Colorado. These figures are marginally lower than in 2016, yet motorcycle riders continue to be involved in a substantial number of fatal accidents.

Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than riding in a car. Car and SUV drivers have a hard time recognizing bikes and often cause catastrophic car-motorcycle collisions. Motorcycles lack the protection that other cars give, such as an outside cage, airbags, and seatbelts. A motorcycle rider’s best defense is to drive conservatively and wear a helmet and protective gear, such as layers of durable clothes.

Riders are often ejected off their motorcycles due to the power of an accident. It should come as no surprise that approximately 80% of motorcycle riders in the United States are injured in collisions. When a motorcycle is run off the road or hit by a car, the motorcyclist is the one who is most likely to suffer serious injuries.

In 2017, there were 3,537 motorcycle accidents in Colorado. Fractures, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma are all common motorcycle injuries. The most prevalent, though, is road rash.

Road rash is a devastating motorcycle injury that may leave you in excruciating discomfort for the  rest of your life. Road rash may result in lifelong disfigurement, scarring, and reduced mobility, all of which can have a substantial effect on your life. As a result, wounded motorcyclists often need the assistance of a motorcycle accident attorney from the outset to fight for compensation. You may not be able to collect enough money to pay all of your medical expenses, future operations, and other damages if you do not have a lawyer fighting for you.

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What Is Road Rash and How Does It Affect You?

Many individuals mistakenly believe that road rash is a minor ailment. Even a slight incidence of road rash, on the other hand, might have catastrophic repercussions. The skin is the body’s biggest organ. It protects your body’s vulnerable areas from the outside world, which is full of viruses and germs.

When a motorcycle rider collides with a hard surface, such as the pavement, the outer layer of skin is removed, exposing the wound to dirt, gravel, metal, and other road debris. Road rash is curable, but it may be unpleasant and costly. The degree of the road rash is determined by the power of the collision, the kind of surface on which the damage occurred, and the rider’s protective equipment.

The following areas are typically affected by road rash:

  • The face
  • Palms
  • Knees
  • Legs below the knees
  • Shoulders
  • Thighs

The Different Types of Road Rash

Road rash is divided into three categories. It is conceivable, however, to have many types of road rash injuries at the same time.

Avulsion: Of the three forms of road rash, an avulsion is the most prevalent. Avulsion occurs when the skin is scraped away, revealing layers of fat, muscle, and sometimes bone underneath.

Compression: In a motorcycle accident, a portion of the body might get trapped between two objects, most often the motorcycle and the road. Bruising, muscular injury and shattered bones may develop as a consequence.

Open wound: An open wound from road rash may need stitches or, in extreme situations, skin transplants.

Road Rash on a Scale of One to Ten

Road rash injuries are classified into three degrees. From the mildest to the most severe, these are the levels:

First-degree: Scrapes, minor bleeding, bruising, and redness are common symptoms of minor road rash caused by a motorcycle collision. Most wounded people can manage first-degree road rash at home after seeking medical assistance. It’s the least dangerous, yet it may still cause a lot of discomforts.

Second-degree abrasion: This kind of road rash occurs when the abrasion splits the skin. The underlying layers of skin are still intact, although they may be seen. Debris such as dirt, stones, and glass may get trapped in the wound, posing a danger. To lessen the risk of lasting scarring, the sufferer needs medical attention.

Third-degree: Deep cuts and severe abrasions expose muscles, tendons, nerves, and even bone-in third-degree road rash. There’s a chance you’ll bleed a lot and become infected. The victim should seek medical attention right once. Scarring is prevalent with this kind since it is the most severe.

The cost of treating road rash is high.

Following a motorcycle accident, seeking medical attention may help lessen or prevent infection, scarring, and disability. Because many additional sorts of motorcycle accident injuries need treatment, therapy may be extensive and expensive. Before any further therapy can begin, medical workers must remove all of the debris.

Stitches are generally required for open wounds. Some wounds need the use of plastic surgery. In extreme situations, the person may also need a skin transplant. As a victim of a motorcycle accident, you should never second-guess yourself when it comes to your health. It’s usually best to see a doctor about a road rash injury than to suffer at home and risk infection.

First-Degree Road Rash Treatment

You may be able to treat a first-degree road rash injury at home if you have no additional injuries. A small abrasion, commonly known as a “raspberry,” is a first-degree road rash. Minor road rash, on the other hand, should cure in two weeks if treated properly. If you want to treat your first-degree road rash at home, be sure to do the following:

Wash your hands. You’re more prone to catching an illness if your hands are coated with germs.

Rinse the wound. Submerge the wound is clean, lukewarm water. Scour your wound gently to remove any debris or particles, but don’t scrub it. Seek medical help if you can’t get all the dirt and foreign bodies out of the wound without cleaning.

Apply a thin coating of antibiotic salve or petroleum jelly to the scrape before applying a dressing. The dressing will keep the wound moist, and the covering will act as an infection barrier. If the dressing gets damp or soiled, change it every day or more often.

Seek medical help right away if you see any indications of infection or if your wound isn’t healing correctly.

Second-Degree Road Rash Treatment

Both the surface and inner layers of the skin are affected by second-degree road rash. It does not, however, pass through muscles or other tissue under the skin. You should consult a doctor right now.

The wound will be cleaned, any debris or foreign items will be removed, and an antibiotic ointment and dressing will be applied. The doctor may prescribe pain medicine, either over-the-counter or by prescription.

Third-Degree Road Rash Treatment

You should go to the emergency hospital right away if you have a third-degree road rash injury. These injuries damage tissue under the skin, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, veins, arteries, bones, and internal organs, passing through the epidermis and dermis. If left untreated, these injuries may be lethal. Individuals who have been injured may need surgery to mend their skin.

You should not assume that your injury is small if you are not in pain. These serious injuries have the potential to infiltrate and damage all layers of the skin. Nerve endings may be damaged by third- degree road rash, resulting in nerve damage and loss of feeling. If your wound isn’t hurting, go to the hospital right away.

Road Rash’s Consequences

You may feel fortunate to have survived a motorcycle accident and not be concerned about minor injuries. However, if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, even a little case of road rash might cause medical problems.

Seek medical help as soon as possible. If there is visible muscle or bone, a big item is stuck in the wound, the road rash covers a wide surface area (such as a whole leg), the wound is bleeding, or there are associated problems, such as:

Infection — Keep an eye on your injuries for symptoms of infection. Redness that spreads beyond your injury is possible. Inflammation may cause redness, but if it spreads, you may have an infection.

Swelling, fever, a foul odor, pus formation, and a foul odor are all indicators of infection. If this is the case, you should consult a doctor who can prescribe antibiotics.

Severe discomfort

Scars that last a lifetime

Road Rash’s Emotional Consequences

Although road rash is less dangerous than other motorcycle injuries, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage, it may cause discomfort and leave lifelong scars. A change in looks might significantly impact a person’s viewpoint and self-confidence. Scarring and deformity caused by road rash accidents may result in emotional and psychological pain beyond the skin. Road rash scars, for example, have been linked to:

Depression. There is no straightforward link between scarring severity and psychological well- being. Even little scars may harm a person’s self-esteem and pleasure in life. It may lead to clinical depression in certain people.

Anxiety and stress. Some accident victims experience the pain of the tragedy every time they look in the mirror. Many sufferers are also bothered by their looks and the reactions of others.

Ongoing discomfort and suffering. Plastic surgery may be required for victims, especially if the event resulted in facial bone fractures or soft tissue injury. Each new operation promises more suffering in the future.

Isolation from others. Facial scars might harm personal connections and other social activities. Facial scarring may damage a career for persons whose employment relies on their appearances, such as performers and models.

How to Avoid Getting Road Rash

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation advises that all motorcyclists wear properly fitted protection gear to avoid or limit injuries. Because the temperature is warmer in the spring and summer, motorcyclists generally wear lighter clothes, exposing more skin to the hazards of road rash.

Helmets. A helmet that meets government rules is the most critical piece of motorcycle safety equipment. Helmets provide four levels of protection for riders’ heads:

The outer shell protects a rider’s head from piercing things.

If the head hits the concrete, the shell shields it from abrasions.

The helmet’s lining is shock-absorbent, absorbing the impact of a crash and progressively collapsing.

The foam lining keeps the helmet in place and keeps the head comfy.

Under Colorado law, motorcycle drivers over 21 are not obliged to wear a helmet if they have at least

$10,000 in medical coverage on their insurance policy. In Colorado, however, motorcycle riders must always wear eye protection.

Other Safety Equipment for Motorcycles

Face shields to protect against the sun during the day and the glare of car lights at night are other suggested components of motorcycle safety equipment. Wind, flying debris, and insects are all protected by face shields.

Gloves shield the rider’s hands from the sun, wind, and cold, as well as abrasions in the case of a collision.

A rider’s body is protected from the elements by jackets, trousers, and similar clothes, but more significantly, this protective gear reduces the severity of road rash injuries. Motorcycle jackets are often composed of leather or specialist man-made textiles like Cordura or Kevlar and frequently feature additional cushioning in important body locations such as the elbow. Many individuals believe that jeans are adequate riding attire; nevertheless, motorcycle riding trousers provide greater protection.

Motorcycle boots typically rise above the ankle and feature built-in ankle protection as well as oil- resistant soles for a firm grip on the ground. Exposure to engine and wind noise may harm riders’ hearing over time. Foam earplugs and noise-canceling earphones can protect motorcyclists’ ears from wind and engine noise, but they may also block out important noises.

Have You Suffered From Road Rash As a Result of a Motorcycle Accident?

Severe motorcycle accident injuries, such as road rash, may have a considerable negative financial and emotional effect on a person’s life. Road rash treatment is frequently time-consuming and uncomfortable, and it may leave both physical and psychological scars.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s carelessness, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys specializes in aiding motorcycle accident survivors with serious injuries by giving legal insight and talent honed over years of experience in obtaining the compensation they need.

Our company is your best bet for leveling the playing field with insurance companies that may try to take advantage of someone unfamiliar with personal injury law.

Our motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine who is responsible for your losses, what damages you may claim, the investigation of the accident, contacting the insurance company, negotiating a settlement, or going to trial.

Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys will live up to its reputation as a major company with the resources to aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf while maintaining the close connection and personal touch that a smaller practice would provide.

Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer now to learn more about your legal options if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Call 719-300-1100 or complete an online contact form to speak with Warrior Motorcycle Accident Attorneys about your motorcycle accident.

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