Road Rash from a Motorcycle Accident
Road rash is a common yet often overlooked injury in motorcycle accidents. This injury can cause serious injury and long-term damages to a rider; in many cases an injured rider can recover damages for those injuries.
What is road rash?Road rash is a type of surface injury that motorcycle riders may experience if they strike the pavement during a crash. Upon impact, any exposed or poorly-covered skin will scrape against the pavement. The friction and surface of the pavement causes the top layers of the skin to scrape away, leaving a raw, open wound.
Road rash is a type of friction burn and abrasive wound. Because doctors classify it as a burn, it falls into three degrees of severity.
Degrees of Road Rash InjurySection Content 2:
A road rash has three degrees of severity:
First Degree: The skin is raw and painful, similar to a sunburn. There might be light bleeding, but riders can typically treat this injury at home without professional care.
Second Degree: More skin is lost, exposing the lower layers of skin, causing more pain and bleeding. While the rider can care for this wound at home, proper care is necessary to prevent scarring and infection.
Third Degree: The most severe degree of road rash will cause significant skin loss that can expose the muscles and even bones and cause severe bleeding. Nerve damage is also possible. Professional care is necessary to repair the lost skin and prevent injury. Disfigurement is highly possible.
Note: Do not judge the severity of road rash by the pain associated. Because third-degree road rash can include nerve damage, injured riders may feel no pain.
Who is liable for a road rash injury?The entirety of the liability for a road rash injury does not necessarily lie with the driver who hit the motorcycle. Motorcyclists owe themselves a duty of care to protect their body from harm in accidents. The insurance company might argue that the rider's failure to wear a full body jacket and pants was negligent behavior that led to the road rash.
If the driver caused the collision, some or all of the liability might fall on him or her.
The rider will be able to recover compensation so long as s/he is less responsible for the crash than the passenger car driver.
What kind of damages can a motorcyclist collect for road rash?The degree, size, and location of the road rash will determine the recoverable damages. Road rash that heals quickly without professional medical care or permanent damage will get a far lower settlement than a third-degree road rash that causes significant disfigurement and permanent impairment.
Some of the damages available for road rash include:
• Cost of medical care
• Wage reimbursement
• Long-term disability
• Permanent disfigurement
• Emotional damages
• Rehabilitative care