How Dangerous is Road Rash?

Even motorcycle accidents that occur at low speeds can be horrific. Without the proper gear, low speed motorcycle accidents can still lead to broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and road rash. Road rash, while not life threatening, can be more serious than many people believe. Understanding the complications that can arise from road rash is the first step towards ensuring that you obtain the compensation you need to fully recover.

Road rash is another name for the severe skin abrasions that occur when a motorcyclist slides across the pavement or road surface during a crash. Depending on the severity of the accident, the surface of the road at the time of the crash, and the clothing that is worn by the rider, road rash can be a mild inconvenience or a serious injury.

First Degree Road Rash: This type of road rash is very minor and usually does not require medical treatment. It can be a bit painful, but the skin is not broken, just reddened.
Second Degree Road Rash: This type of road rash involves a minor breaking of the outer layer of skin. There can be bleeding, pain, and limited movement, but over the counter ointment is usually all that is needed to treat this rash.
Third Degree Road Rash: This is extremely severe and occurs when all 5 layers of skin are exposed. This road rash is very susceptible to infections and those infections can be life threatening, especially MRSA. In addition, this type of road rash can result in permanent disfigurement, requiring multiple cosmetic surgeries and skin grafts to repair. IV antibiotics are often needed and permanent muscle, nerve, and tissue damage can occur without proper treatment.

The road surface is key to the severity of your road rash. Gravel, bits of broken glass, road debris, and metal fragments can become embedded in your skin, especially during an accident. These items can increase the likelihood of bikers developing serious infections and can prolong recovery time.

When multiple body parts are injured, accident victims could find themselves spending weeks in the hospital, meeting with plastic surgeons and infection control specialists. In addition to pain medication and antibiotics, road rash victims may require multiple surgeries, weeks of rehabilitation, and expensive wound dressings.

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