Most motorcycle riders have heard about “road rash,” a common injury that can happen if you have to lay your bike down. Despite the colorful and amusing name, road rash is no joke. It can leave extensive scarring and has the potential for severe complications.
Learning the facts about road rash can help you make the right decisions for preventing it and getting the right treatment if you are injured in this manner.
After a motorcycle collision, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash is a skin abrasion, scraping off multiple layers of dermis against a rough surface, usually a concrete or asphalt road. It’s most common on the areas of the body that aren’t covered with thick clothing or protective gear, like leathers or sturdy denim.
Make no mistake – road rash is more than just a skinned knee. The avulsion can scrape away not just the top layers of the skin but the fatty tissue beneath and even some of the muscle. Severe avulsion may even reach the bone. Road rash can present as an open wound that may require surgery and skin grafts to repair.
Road rash, like burn injuries, is categorized in degrees of severity, ranging from superficial damage to the top layer or two of skin to damage that penetrates the skin, fat, and muscle to reach the bone. Because of the likelihood of infection, always seek medical attention for road rash.
The Dangers of Road Rash Injuries
Prompt medical attention may mitigate some of the complications from road rash. Be aware of these dangers of road rash:
- Large areas of damaged skin have a higher risk of infection and scarring
- Hands, feet, or genital areas are especially prone to infection
- Visible bone or muscle, called third-degree road rash
- Foreign objects embedded in the open wound
- Excessive bleeding that can’t be stemmed, requiring stitches
Infection is always a risk with large or deep skin injuries. Your best chance of avoiding this is to have immediate medical attention and carefully follow post-treatment indications for keeping the wound clean. Sometimes, you may require a tetanus shot or a round of antibiotics.
Complications of Road Rash
Skin abrasions often become infected; keeping your wound clean and using sterile bandages is critical. Some complications of road rash include:
- Staph infection, contamination from bacteria present on the surface of your skin
- Tetanus, bacteria from the road, metal objects, or soil in the wound
- Necrotizing fasciitis causing the death of soft tissue surrounding the wound and inside it, possibly leading to deadly sepsis and toxic shock syndrome
Always monitor your wound and yourself for signs of infection. Redness and swelling around the edges are one indication, and pus discharge is another. If the wound begins to smell, or if you have a sudden onset of high fever, get to the hospital immediately.
The Aftereffects of Road Rash
Infection isn’t the only complication of road rash. Scarring and disfigurement are common, especially if you need skin grafts. If the injury included muscle damage, you might have a limited range of motion in the affected area.
The driver who caused your motorcycle accident may be liable for your injuries and damages, including emergency medical care, aftercare, and ongoing treatments to recover from road rash.
You have the right to file a lawsuit for these damages, and an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the financial justice you deserve.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.