Identifying Complications and Severity of Road Rash

You were riding your Harley down Washington and you were about to make the turn onto Effington when all of a sudden a black SUV came out of nowhere and cut you off. Without thinking, you immediately put on your brakes. Unfortunately, because you were in the middle of a turn, your bike lost control and toppled over, pulling you with it.

By the time your bike stopped, you had been dragged about 50 feet.

When you managed to stand up, besides being a little sore you didn’t feel as if you were injured. However, when you looked down, you saw that half of the skin on your arm and side was gone, and pieces of gravel, stones, and paint chips were embedded in the bleeding gash that was there.

You called 911 to report the accident, and when the officer asked if you were seriously hurt, you didn’t know what to tell her. Although the wound looked awful, you weren’t in that much pain. How could you tell how bad the road rash was if it wasn’t painful?

How Bad Is Your Road Rash?

One of the most common types of nonfatal motorcycle injuries is road rash. Road rash—also called “road burn”—occurs when the force of being thrown from a bike or falling off a moving causes the rider to be dragged across the ground. The ground grates the exposed skin of the rider, causing painful scrapes and abrasions.

Many motorcycle fatalities show signs of road rash along with other fatal injuries. Although most road rash injuries aren’t fatal by themselves, the severe damage caused can lead to infection, permanent tissue damage, and scarring.

The three types of road rash are as follows:

  • First Degree (minor). This type of injury is identified by small scrapes, redness, bruising, slight bleeding, and tenderness. Make sure you clean the area well. Most minor cases of road burn can be treated at home.
  • Second Degree (serious). Second degree rashes show bleeding, swelling, radiating heat, and exposed muscle, tendons, or nerves. They are painful to the touch. Keep the wound clean and seek medical attention immediately. Scarring is common.
  • Third Degree (severe). In third degree rashes, skin can actually be flayed off, causing bleeding, swelling, and deep wounds. The area may have a shiny or milky appearance, and be extremely painful, or not painful at all because of nerve damage. Severe abrasions may expose muscle, tendons, bone, or nerves, and the wound may cover more than 10 percent of your body. Seek medical attention immediately, and try not to touch the abrasions as infection can set in quickly. Scarring and permanent deformity are common.

No matter what degree of road rash you may think you have, you should always get the injury assessed by a medical professional. Not only can a medical professional positively diagnose the severity, but he can also properly clean and treat the rash so it doesn’t become infected.

Picking Yourself Up After Severe Road Rash Injuries

It’s pretty clear that road rash, although treatable, can cause a lot of pain, possible scarring, and medical expenses. However, if your injury was caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for these unfortunate outcomes. Contact us today to discuss your claim and settlement options. We’re here to help you pick yourself up and get you back on your bike. Please, call now to take your first step toward getting the justice you deserve.

Help protect your fellow bikers. Use your social media contacts to help them learn how to identify road rash severity and encourage them to seek medical attention for even the smallest scrapes. You never know when an infection can set in—and neither do they. Please, share now.