Spring will soon be in the air around Virginia, which means more motorcyclists will be climbing on their vehicles to enjoy the warm weather. Unfortunately, the frequency of motorcycle accidents will also be on the rise with more riders on the roads. One injury that’s relatively unique to motorcycle collision victims is road rash, which shares similarities with both burns and abrasions. It often occurs when a rider is tossed from the cycle and slides across the surface of the roadway. Road rash may appear to be a painful scratch, but this type of injury involves much more serious health complications because of the potential for infection.
You should discuss your legal rights and remedies with a motorcycle accidents lawyer, but it’s also important to review some information about road rash injuries.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, road rash is a friction burn that may occur due to continuous rubbing of the skin over time or a single, violent impact – such as a motorcycle accident. Heat builds up from the friction effect, singing the skin in much the same way as a burn from contact with a hot object. At the same time, the uneven surface of the roadway scratches the affected area.
Degrees of Road Rash Injuries
Just as the medical community classifies burn injuries by severity, there are varying degrees of road rash.
First Degree: This level of road rash is typically minor, often resembling a sunburn. You may experience light bleeding from scratches and small cuts, but medical attention is usually not necessary for a complete recovery.
Second Degree: If road rash includes heavier bleeding and swelling, and you can feel heat radiating from the area, the injury qualifies as second-degree. The wound often penetrates beyond the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, to the dermis underneath. Infection is likely without proper care.
Third Degree: If a great deal of skin is scraped off, it’s likely you suffer from a third-degree road rash. The wound may even expose muscle tissue and tendons, and it covers a larger area of your body. You may not feel severe pain because of nerve damage prevents the communication of sensory messages to the brain. It’s critical to seek emergency care immediately.
Complications and Long-Term Effects of Road Rash
Because of a motorcycle’s design, the outer portion of your lower extremities, shoulders, and palms of your hands are most vulnerable to road rash. These injuries can lead to extensive health complications, such as:
- Road rash leaves affected skin and tissues open to bacteria, which can cause infection without proper treatment.
- A road rash wound may scrape and burn several layers of skin, so you could sustain leading to scarring and disfigurement.
- With higher degrees of road rash, you will need skin graft surgery to repair and replace tissue that has burned away. In this type of procedure, healthy skin is extracted from an area of your body and implanted upon the affected area.
Contact Herbert E. Maxey, Jr. Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, please contact the Herbert Maxey Law Firm to set up a consultation. Virginia law may allow you to recover compensation for road rash injuries and other types of losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Herbert E. Maxey Jr. represents individuals injured in motorcycle accidents and he has extensive experience in these types of claims, and he can tell you more about your rights.