Severe injuries often follow motorcycle accidents. Riders are commonly diagnosed with brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, even in low-speed collisions. However, as dangerous and life-changing as these injuries might be, it is important to not overlook road rash, which is usually far more likely but can be just as dangerous.
What is Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident?
Road rash is caused by a rider sliding, skidding, or bouncing across asphalt, concrete, gravel, or dirt after a collision or a wipeout. As the rider skids along the ground, massive amounts of friction are generated. The further the motorcyclist skids, the worse their road rash will be as the friction tears and damages their skin and underlying soft tissues.
With protective clothing, road rash might be just a series of small but painful cuts along the affected area, such as the rider’s back, thigh, chest, and arm. Proper medical treatment can clean the wounds and ensure a fairly quick recovery. Because many cases of road rash are resolved with first-aid or triage in an urgent care center, some people make the mistake of assuming it is never a serious injury, which is simply untrue. In violent crashes at high speeds, road rash can be devastating or life-threatening.
Long-Term Harm Caused by Road Rash
Severe cases of road rash can cause:
- Infection: Road rash is caused by skidding across the ground, usually with bare skin, so practically all road rash injuries are literally dirty and unclean. Failing to sanitize even mild road rash can cause a bacterial infection to form in the wound within a day or so. Depending on the extent of the infection, the type of bacteria or virus causing it, and the depth of the road rash, the injured rider might need immediate hospitalization to fight the infection. If an infection reaches the circulatory, respiratory, or nervous systems, it can be fatal. Every case of road rash should be seen by a doctor and sanitized as soon as possible. Antibiotics might be prescribed, too.
- Disability: Deep road rash injuries can destroy skin, muscles, nerves, and bone, causing varying disabilities depending on the body part that has been affected. Severe road rash often affects the legs, which can cause pain while walking or the need for a walker or wheelchair. Skin grafts and surgeries might be able to restore some mobility, as well as extended sessions of physical therapy.
Never Assume Road Rash Isn’t Serious
After suffering a road rash injury, see a doctor as soon as possible. You might think it is only a sore spot or small, irritating cuts now, but the injury could quickly become much worse. Getting medical attention right away will help diagnose the severity of your road rash and could mitigate some of its worst consequences.
You should also speak to a motorcycle accident attorney after being in a crash that was not your fault. You could have a valid claim against the other motorist, which can help pay for extensive medical treatments needed to care for serious cases of road rash.
Riders in Oklahoma know they can count on Martin Jean & Jackson for experienced legal counsel and representation. Contact our firm as soon as you can after being in a motorcycle accident. We have offices throughout the state for your convenience.