Facts About Road Rash
If you or someone you know owns a motorcycle or is a serious cyclist, there is a good chance you have at least heard of road rash.
Road rash refers to a medical condition in which a person’s skin has been scraped, burned, or suffered abrasions due to rubbing against a rough surface such as pavement. The reason motorcyclists and bicyclists are so aware of road rash is because it is a common injury for those involved in a motorcycle or bicycle accident.
In Texas, there are nearly 350,000 registered motorcycles, meaning Texans see their fair share of accidents involving motorcycles. Because motorcycle drivers have such little protection when they do crash, the overwhelming majority of motorcyclists involved in a crash suffer an injury.
One of the most common injuries motorcyclists experience is road rash. If you have been in a motorcycle accident and are dealing with road rash, the following information will help you find out what you should do next.
Symptoms of Road Rash
The severity of road rash can vary greatly. Just as burns are measured by degrees, so too is road rash.
- First-Degree Road Rash: the mildest cases of road rash might not require any medical treatment. This level of road rash is often characterized by redness of the skin and it may feel tender. The good news about first-degree road rash is that it can be treated at home and rarely leads to permanent damage.
- Second-Degree Road Rash: this type of road rash penetrates deeper into the skin and can be accompanied by significantly more pain than first-degree road rash. While second-degree road rash can be treated at home with topical ointments and bandages, it might be wise to get checked out by a doctor.
- Third-Degree Road Rash: the most severe cases of road rash involve damage through the outer layer of skin, down into the fatty tissue underneath it. There might also be damage to muscle tissue and even exposed bones if there is an open wound. With a third-degree road rash, you need to see a doctor immediately.
Additionally, what contributes to road rash being a serious medical condition is the fact that open wounds and skin that has been rubbed away can be prone to infection. Finally, it is also common for debris to become embedded in the skin or wound and lead to further complications.
Treatment for Road Rash
As noted above, many cases of road rash can be treated at home. If you are attempting to treat yourself it is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before doing so as bacteria on your hands could lead to an infection in the wound.
You should also wash the area regularly with soap and water and replace bandages often. There are several topical ointments that can aid in healing the wound and can be found at your local pharmacy.
If your case is severe or if it is taking longer to heal than it should, you may want to consult with a doctor.
How to Prevent Road Rash
Of course, rather than treating road rash, it is best to avoid getting it in the first place. The best ways to do that are to take prevention seriously.
- Be aware of road conditions and drive cautiously
- Wear appropriate equipment: helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots
- Never drive a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
While not every motorcycle accident is the result of poor driving on the part of the motorcyclist, and other drivers should definitely be aware of motorcycles on the road, if you follow the above suggestions, it could reduce your risk of suffering severe road rash significantly.
What to Do If You Have Road Rash
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and are suffering from road rash, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents to see if your case merits compensation. Your lawyer will know how to investigate your case to determine who may be the liable party and how you can seek money to help cover things like medical bills, lost wages, and even compensation for pain and suffering you have endured.
A good personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable resource as you deal with the fallout from your accident. As you are trying to recover, you will no doubt have enough to worry about. Let your lawyer assist you in collecting the compensation you are due.