road rash on hands

If you suffered a road rash injury in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, to discuss your legal options with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries and hold the at-fault party accountable for their careless or otherwise negligent behavior.

We offer free, no-obligation consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay us only if and when we secure financial compensation for you. That means there’s no risk in pursuing the justice and money you deserve.

What Is Road Rash?

Road rash is a common injury associated with motorcycle accidents. It is a friction burn caused by a rider’s skin being abraded by contact with a road surface. The friction between the road and the victim’s body scrapes off the top layers of skin, leaving painful burns and bruises.

Road rash can occur anywhere on the body, including on the arms, legs, torso, knees, elbows, and hands. Bony areas of the body are the most likely to be impacted.

Worse still, these skin abrasions can become embedded with glass, dirt, loose gravel, and other debris on the roadway. Severe road rash can lead to permanent disfigurement, and infections can develop if the condition is left untreated after an accident.

Why Do Motorcycle Accident Victims Often Sustain Road Rash?

Unlike the occupants of passenger vehicles, who have seat belts, airbags, and vehicle frames to mitigate the force of a collision, motorcyclists have only their clothing and their helmets. Furthermore, motorcyclists are typically directly impacted by collisions and are often thrown from their bikes as a result, causing them to slide across the roadway. Friction between the motorcyclist’s skin and the asphalt is the primary cause of road rash injuries, though excessive heat can also exacerbate such injuries in the warmer months.

Degrees of Road Rash

There are three primary degrees of road rash, in order of increasing severity:

  • First – First-degree road rash injuries are the least severe type, though they can still be debilitating. First-degree road rash damages only the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. While first-degree road rash can cause bleeding, skin irritation and redness are more common.
  • Second – Second-degree road rash affects both the outer layer and the inner layer of skin, known as the dermis. Second-degree road rash can be considerably more painful than first-degree road rash and lead to severe bleeding and permanent disfigurement.
  • Third – Third-degree road rash injuries are even deeper, penetrating through the top two layers of skin down to the fat layer under the dermis. Third-degree road rash has the potential to expose muscle tissue under the skin. Surgery is often needed to repair the damage.

Road rash injuries are also categorized based on the area of the body the injury covers. For example, road rash that penetrates the palm down to the fatty layer of skin but is contained to a hand would not be considered as severe as road rash that affects 40 percent of the body.

How Is Road Rash Treated?

Treatment options for road rash depend on the degree and scale of the injury and may involve:

  • Cleaning wounds – The wounds left by road rash are often filled with debris from the roadway, which can lead to infection if not removed. One of the first steps to treating road rash is to clean the wound of any outside contaminants that could potentially lead to complications.
  • Dressing wounds – Once the wounds have been cleaned, they should be dried and appropriately dressed. A physician may apply medical ointments to protect against infection, relieve pain, and kickstart the healing process. The wounds should be covered with bandages and changed regularly to protect them from potential contaminants and bacteria.
  • Skin grafts – In cases of severe road rash, surgical replacement of the affected skin may be necessary. That involves taking skin from another area of the body or a donor and grafting it into the damaged skin.

Even seemingly minor road rash injuries can become infected if left untreated. Seeking immediate medical treatment is essential for your health, but it’s also crucial if you need to file an insurance claim at a later date.

How Long Does Road Rash Take to Heal?

Every road rash is different, with a different prognosis and timeline. Minor road rash injuries may heal on their own within weeks, while more severe cases may take several rounds of surgery and upwards of a year to treat.

Potential Complications and Ongoing Issues from Road Rash

One of the most common complications caused by road rash is a bacterial infection. While many bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, certain types – such as MRSA (a severe bacterial staph infection) – are known to resist many kinds of antibiotics. That’s why it’s crucial to treat road rash injuries as quickly as possible, even mild ones.

In rare cases, road rash can lead to blood poisoning. The infection can circulate throughout the body, causing septic shock. Septic shock can lead to low blood pressure and even organ failure. Other possible complications include scarring at the site of the injury, as well as inflammation and discoloration of the surrounding skin.

What If I Am Suffering from a Road Rash Injury That Was Not My Fault?

If someone else is to blame for the accident that injured you, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit against them, seeking compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other losses. A seasoned motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue this compensation by investigating the accident, determining liability, negotiating with insurers, and taking your case to trial, if necessary.

Call Now for a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and someone else is to blame, contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, today for a free, no-risk case evaluation. You could be owed compensation, and we want to help you demand it. Because our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you won’t owe us any legal fees unless we successfully secure financial relief for you.