Did you suffer a road rash injury in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault? Between the severe pain and staggering medical costs, you may wonder if someone could help you get through this difficult time. This page will define road rash and explain its dangers and potential treatments. Further, it will explore how a personal injury lawyer can help injured victims with road rash after a motorcycle accident.
What Is Road Rash?
“Road rash” is a term for an abrasion that occurs when a person’s skin scrapes against a rough surface, such as pavement, concrete, or gravel. The friction between the skin and the surface causes the outer layer of skin to scrape off, resulting in painful and often bloody abrasions. Road rash can affect any area of the body but frequently occurs on the knees, elbows, forearms, and hands. Road rash injuries range in severity from minor scrapes to deep wounds.
When Does Road Rash Require Medical Attention?
Every form of road rash should receive prompt medical attention, but the required treatment will depend on the severity of the injury. Doctors may recommend basic first aid treatment for minor road rash. Second- and third-degree road rash may require more significant medical care, including antibiotics to prevent infection and surgery to repair damaged tissue. Surgery could include skin grafting, in which surgeons remove healthy skin from another part of the body to replace damaged, irreparable skin.
Motorcycle accident victims who experience severe road rash may also suffer from other serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, and head injuries.
How Dangerous Is Road Rash?
According to a report from the American College of Surgeons, 20,407 hospital admissions involving road rash occurred in one recent year. Of these cases, the vast majority (13,554 or 66.4 percent) were minor and required only home care.
However, 1,974 patients (9.6 percent of cases) required acute care or rehabilitation services, and 1,126 (5.5 percent) required admission to a skilled nursing facility. Of those patients admitted to the hospital, the average length of stay was 5.8 days. Tragically, 400 patients (1.9 percent) died from their injuries.
The risk of developing complications makes road rash quite dangerous. For example, if a patient with road rash develops an infection, bacteria could enter the bloodstream and send the patient into sepsis. Sepsis can cause death if left untreated.
If road rash is severe enough, patients may require surgery, which comes with its own risks. Common complications from surgery include anesthesia reactions, blood clots, nerve damage, and even death.
How a Lawyer Can Help If You Develop Road Rash From a Motorcycle Accident
If you develop road rash after a motorcycle accident someone else caused, a lawyer can help you deal with the aftermath. A personal injury lawyer represents accident victims of all types, including motorcycle accident victims, who suffer physically, financially, and emotionally from injuries caused by another’s wrongdoing.
Here are a few ways a lawyer can assist you:
Compensation Available for Motorcycle Accident Victims With Road Rash
If you suffered a road rash injury in a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, you might seek compensation from the responsible party. The amount of compensation you could get will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your accident-related losses, and the quality of your legal representation.
Motorcycle accident victims with road rash may recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses. You could recover compensation for the cost of medical treatment related to your road rash injuries, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, surgery, prescription medication, and physical therapy.
- Lost income. If road rash injuries prevent you from working during your recovery, you can seek compensation for your lost income and benefits. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you can also seek compensation for your lost future income.
- Pain and suffering. Road rash can be a painful and debilitating injury. Furthermore, the mental and emotional trauma of the accident can affect your well-being for weeks or months. You can seek compensation for this physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
- Scarring and disfigurement. Road rash can leave lasting scars and disfigurement, for which you could get money.
- Punitive damages. If your case goes to trial, the court could award punitive damages, which aim to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious negligence and deter similar actions in the future.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents That Cause Road Rash
Road rash can occur in many different types of motorcycle accidents, including:
- Head on collisions. A head on collision between a 500-pound motorcycle and a 4,000-pound passenger car involves tremendous force that could eject a rider, causing them to slide along the pavement.
- Rear end collisions. Drivers may find it hard to spot a motorcycle stopped in the road ahead, resulting in a rear end collision. The force from a rear end collision may throw a rider off their motorcycle, causing road rash when the rider’s body scrapes across the pavement.
- Distracted driving accidents. Distracted drivers may overlook a motorcycle when their phone, passengers, sandwich, or other distractions take their eyes, hands, or focus off the road.
- Lane change accidents. Drivers changing lines may overlook a motorcycle riding next to them and cause a collision, sending the motorcycle and rider skidding across the pavement. Lane changing accidents can occur when a driver merges onto a highway or changes lanes on a multi-lane road. Drivers should check their blind spots before changing lanes to avoid collisions.
- Left turn accidents. Because other drivers of passenger vehicles often overlook considerably smaller motorcycles when turning, left turn collisions are prevalent. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42 percent of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle occurred when the vehicle turned left.
- High speed accidents. Speeding by motorcyclists and other drivers increases the risk of collisions, especially fatal ones. According to the NHTSA, 34 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved speeding. A speeding driver who spots a motorcycle in their path when it’s too late for them to stop may cause a collision.
Who Pays for Road Rash-Related Expenses After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you suffered road rash in a motorcycle accident, you might face staggering medical costs and other accident-related expenses that total thousands of dollars. Few people have sufficient savings to cover those expenses, even with good health insurance. If someone else is to blame for the accident, you may seek compensation from them.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, you could pursue compensation from:
- Your insurance company. While Florida law requires drivers of four-wheeled vehicles to maintain no-fault personal injury protection insurance, the law does not apply to two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles. However, motorcyclists must maintain at least $10,000 of medical benefits if they are over 21 and choose to ride without a helmet. If you have a medical insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company for road rash-related medical expenses after an accident.
- The at-fault entity’s insurance company. If a negligent driver caused your road rash injuries, you could file a claim with their insurance company for compensation. If negotiations with the insurance company do not produce a fair settlement, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation at trial.
- The at-fault entity’s employer. You can hold an employer responsible if their employee was on the job when their negligent actions caused your road rash injuries in a motorcycle accident.
- A negligent government agency. If a government agency’s negligent actions caused your road rash injuries, you might pursue compensation from that entity.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident Causing Road Rash
After you sustain road rash in a crash that wasn’t your fault, protect your health and your right to obtain compensation.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. After your doctor diagnoses your road rash and provides treatment instructions, follow those instructions as closely as possible. Not only will this aid your recovery, but it also creates a record of your accident-related injuries.
- Report the accident. Florida requires drivers involved in an accident involving injury, death, or at least $500 of property damage to report the accident to law enforcement. The law enforcement officer’s report will include critical and relevant details for your accident claim.
- Compile accident-related records. Compile all accident-related records, including your medical bills, hospital bills, pay stubs, and insurance correspondence. These records will serve as essential evidence in your case for compensation.
- Don’t talk to insurance companies. Use caution when accepting calls from the insurance company. They may claim to care about your well-being, but they are actually trying to manipulate you into saying something they can use to deny your claim.
- Consult a lawyer. A personal injury attorney can handle the numerous details of your case, all communications with the insurance company, settlement negotiations, and trial if the parties can’t settle settlement can’t be reached.
You Can Get Help After a Motorcycle Accident Road Rash Injury
If you suffered a road rash injury in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, you do not have to experience this difficult situation alone. A skilled attorney can investigate your case, obtain available evidence, pursue the compensation you’re owed, and protect you from money-hungry insurance companies.
You deserve dedicated, compassionate legal representation to help you seek compensation from the at-fault entity.