If you suffered road rash or other serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you could pursue compensation from the driver who caused the crash through their negligence or wrongdoing.
To obtain compensation, you will need an attorney to show how the other driver caused the accident and bears liability for your injuries. They will then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and work diligently to get the money you need.
For a detailed review of your specific case, contact a local motorcycle accident attorney for your free consultation.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash is a friction abrasion (or friction burn) people receive when their skin rubs against an abrasive surface such as asphalt or concrete. The surface tears the victim’s flesh and can even burn the skin. High speeds generally exacerbate the severity of road rash, as does exposed skin. This is why motorcyclists should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts or jackets when riding, preferably ones made of leather or another sturdy fabric.
Motor vehicle accidents often cause road rash in victims. Serious motorcycle accident injuries can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Degrees of Road Rash Severity
Physicians classify road rash as a friction burn, and they group injuries into several degrees of severity:
- First-degree friction burn – Refers to a minor burn affecting only the outermost layer of skin (epidermis). The skin will appear red and hurt, but it shouldn’t show blistering or oozing.
- Second-degree friction burn – Affects the two outer layers of skin, the dermis and the epidermis. The wound will look red and appear shiny or wet. It may hurt to the touch and show some blistering. Depending on the depth of the wound, it may require medical treatment and result in scarring.
- Third-degree friction burn – Damages or destroys both the dermis and epidermis and may go down to the bone. These injuries usually destroy the nerves in the affected area, so victims may not feel pain in the site directly. The wound may appear yellow, brown, or black. Third-degree friction burns are the most serious and require immediate medical treatment. They also typically result in scarring.
Get prompt medical attention for any degree of road rash. Not only do you want to ensure you get the proper medical treatment, you will also need documentation that you suffered an injury and received treatment to file an injury claim. Also, road rash can cause more problems than just the initial injury itself. If not treated soon, an infection could set in the wound.
Infections are common in road rash injuries because of how the injuries result. As you slide along the pavement, debris can push deep into the wound, and road rash typically covers a sizable area of a victim’s body or extremities. If you don’t get immediate medical treatment to clean the wound thoroughly and receive antibiotics, an infection could set in and lead to more problems that require even further medical care.
Treatment for Road Rash
The treatment your wound will require will depend on the severity of your injury. For first-degree wounds, you may only need to keep the wound clean, dry, and bandaged and apply an antibacterial topical ointment periodically. You should still have a doctor evaluate your injury and follow the prescribed treatment.
Second- and third-degree wounds, however, require far more extensive medical treatment. Physicians will need to debride and clean the wound, which means removing any debris and dead tissue. They will also scrub the wound with a powerful antibacterial solution and wrap the area in sterile gauze.
Surgery to Repair
These more severe forms of road rash may also require skin graft surgery to repair, and you could need to stay in the hospital for some time as you receive treatment and recover. You may also need surgery to repair any ligaments or tendons damaged by the injury. Additionally, because the injury occurred through tearing or scraping the tissue, resulting in jagged, irregular edges, surgery to repair road rash may require elite-level medical care.
Reconstructive or Plastic Surgery
Depending on the location and severity of the road rash, you may need reconstructive plastic surgery to repair the damage, especially for injuries involving the face or other visible areas. Also, you may need surgery to restore movement in your fingers, toes, or other extremities.
Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation
The road rash from a motorcycle accident can cover a significant portion of your body. As such, you may face a long road to recovery, and you may need long-term care and rehabilitation to deal with your injuries and relearn basic movements, such as walking or moving your arms.
You could obtain compensation to pay or reimburse you for the medical treatment and other rehabilitative services you will need, both now and in the future.
The Mental and Emotional Impact of Road Rash
Severe road rash resulting from a Florida motorcycle accident can leave you with more than just physical pain and scars. You could have concerns about your physical appearance that affect your self-esteem and social interactions. If your job requires you to face the public, for instance, you may not even want to go back to work for fear of what others will think.
The scarring and disfigurement that can result from your road rash injuries can only add to your misery, and you will likely have to deal with the issues for the rest of your life. You may find you need psychological counseling or emotional therapy to deal with your circumstances and lead an as happy and productive life as possible.
Discuss with your attorney your options for pursuing non-economic damages to cover pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses you suffered because of your road rash injuries.
Hire an Attorney to Get the Compensation You Deserve
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue compensation after suffering road rash in a motorcycle accident.
A lawyer can assist through:
- Legal representation. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can provide you with legal representation and advocate for you. They will navigate the legal process for you, protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
- Investigation. A lawyer will thoroughly investigate the motorcycle accident and gather evidence to establish liability. They will collect accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and any other relevant evidence that can support your claim.
- Determining negligence. To seek compensation, you must establish that someone else’s negligence or fault caused the motorcycle accident and your resulting road rash injuries. Your lawyer will analyze the circumstances of the accident, evaluate the actions of the other parties involved, and determine if they can prove negligence.
- Medical documentation. Your lawyer will review your medical records and consult medical experts, if necessary, to understand the extent of your road rash injuries. They will ensure that all relevant medical documentation supports your claim for compensation.
- Evaluation of damages. Your lawyer will assess the damages you suffered due to your road rash injuries. This includes medical expenses, such as treatment costs, hospital bills, medications, and rehabilitation. They will also consider non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, and any impact on your quality of life.
- Negotiation with insurance companies. Insurance companies often try to minimize their liability and may offer a settlement that does not adequately compensate you for your injuries. Your lawyer will handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company, working to secure a fair and just settlement that covers your damages.
- Trial representation. If your attorney cannot reach a fair settlement cannot through negotiations, they may need to take the insurance company to court and sue for compensation. Your attorney will present your case, argue on your behalf, and try to sway the judge or jury’s decision in your favor.
Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney is one of the more prudent decisions you can make after a motorcycle accident. The right motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Most motorcycle accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, so you won’t have to pay anything upfront to have them represent you. A lawyer can navigate the complex legal process and get the maximum compensation you need to cover all your injuries and losses.
You only have two years in Florida to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court, so you need to contact a personal injury law firm in New Port Richey today and get started on your claim right away.