Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience and a convenient form of transportation. As a biker, you can enjoy a great sense of freedom on the road and an unmatched adrenaline rush. However, you cannot ignore the risks that come with this activity, just like the risks of operating any other type of motor vehicle.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are relatively common in the United States. Statistically speaking, more than 80,000 motorcycle riders suffer injuries in collisions every year. When a motorcycle accident occurs, one of the most common injuries a motorcyclist can sustain is road rash. While road rash may be a severe injury on its own, an accident is likely to result in other injuries that often require extensive and costly medical treatment.
When you suffer road rash or other injuries in a motorcycle crash, you may need the assistance of a lawyer to help navigate the legal landscape. A motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis can instruct you on how best to handle your claim to achieve satisfactory results when seeking compensation for your injuries and resulting losses.
Symptoms of Road Rash After a Motorcycle Accident
When a rider slides along the pavement after being thrown from their bike, they are almost guaranteed to suffer road rash, which can range in severity from minor scrapes to severe and even life-threatening injuries. As you can imagine, road rash is anything but pleasant. This type of injury is prevalent among motorcycle riders and their passengers and is associated with the following symptoms:
- Skin abrasions: When you forcefully slide across the pavement, your skin undergoes a lot of friction, causing skin abrasions. You might end up with open wounds on different parts of your body, depending on the severity of the crash. These abrasions range from mild to severe and often result in scarring, leaving you with a permanent reminder of the accident.
- Pain and tenderness: If you have suffered road rash, you will likely experience tenderness and pain around the affected area because the injury affects a wide area of nerve endings. The pain may vary in intensity depending on how deep the injury is. If the friction wound is deep, it may cause agonizing pain due to the exposure of nerve endings. Generally, a person may have a deeper injury if their road rash injury is not healing after two weeks.
- Swelling: Road rash often leads to inflammation around the area of abrasion. Swelling may occur either immediately or after a few hours or days. Swelling can cause discomfort and affect many areas of the victim's life.
- Discoloration: Road rash can cause the skin to turn different colors. The affected area may become red, purple, or even blackish. This discoloration is a sign that your skin has sustained severe trauma and blood has flowed to the affected site, which is a normal and natural reaction.
- Infection: Road rash can easily become infected because the skin acts as a protective barrier, preventing bacteria from penetrating your skin's deeper end. When you have road rash, however, it becomes more accessible for bacteria to enter your body, leading to possible infection. If not treated on time, infection can become life-threatening.
- Scarring: Road rash can leave you with permanent scarring. If the abrasion is particularly deep and the skin beneath the affected area gets damaged, the body may produce too much scar tissue, which can be hard, raised, and discolored.
Yes, the symptoms of road rash can be difficult to deal with. While no amount of money can undo what you had to live through, you might be entitled to monetary compensation to make your life easier while receiving treatment and recovering from the motorcycle crash. Consider speaking with a lawyer to help determine the true costs of your claim and pursue a compensation claim.
Factors That Affect the Severity of Road Rash in Motorcycle Crashes
How bad the following four factors often influence your road rash injury:
The Speed of the Motorcycle
The speed at which a motorcycle travels when a crash occurs can significantly impact the severity of the motorcyclist's injuries, including road rash. The faster the speed, the more likely the victim will slide along the pavement for a more extended period, leading to a more severe abrasion. The friction and heat from the pavement in high-speed crashes can cause burns and road rash.
The Type of Collision
The type of collision or crash that occurs can also increase the likelihood of road rash. For instance, a victim thrown from a motorcycle in a low-side crash is more likely to roll several times along the pavement forcefully. In comparison, a high-side crash may cause the victim to slide straight along the pavement, increasing the risk of road rash due to more extended exposure.
Delaying treatment can worsen road rash injuries and heighten the risk of possible complications, including infection. Not only does seeking immediate medical treatment promote healing and minimize the risk of complications, but it can also help strengthen the compensation claim. Unreasonable delays in visiting an emergency room or hospital after a motorcycle accident can raise doubts about the seriousness of the injuries or their origin, so always seek immediate medical attention for suspected road rash and other injuries.
A Note about Protective Gear
Road rash can be more common when riders are not wearing protective pants or jackets. That said, a lack of protective gear should never absolve other negligent drivers of liability for injuries. If someone else’s negligence led to road rash, their insurance should cover the costs of treatment and other related losses.
No matter how your road rash occurred, always seek assistance from a highly experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Damages That a Lawyer Can Help You Recover for Suffering Road Rash
When a motorcyclist suffers road rash or other injuries in a collision, they can be awarded damages to help offset some of the burdens associated with the accident:
- Medical expenses: The first – and most obvious – thing your lawyer will consider when seeking damages after a motorcycle accident is what expenses you incurred when visiting an emergency room or hospital. You can recover the costs of your hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and other related expenses. In most cases, medical expenses are the most sizable category of damages in motorcycle accident cases, which is evident from statistics. Inpatient rehabilitation costs for motorcycle injuries average tens of thousands per patient.
- Lost income: If your road rash injury results in you having to take time off work to get better, you can recover lost income. It includes any time you miss due to hospital stays, appointments, or physical therapy sessions. Your lawyer will analyze your missed workday records to establish how much money you should have earned (but didn't) and ensure that you receive adequate compensation.
- Pain and suffering: A motorcycle accident can be a painful and traumatic experience, especially when the victim is suffering from excruciating pain, disability, emotional distress, or a reduced quality of life due to the injuries. In road rash cases, pain and suffering damages are determined by the severity of the injury, the affected area, how long it will take for you to recover, and whether the injury will leave permanent scarring.
- Property damage: If your motorcycle sustained damage in the accident, you can recover the costs associated with repairing or replacing it. Additionally, if you had any personal property damaged in the accident (e.g., your helmet, phone, etc.), you can also request compensation for repair/replacement costs.
Every motorcycle accident victim's experience is unique, so recoverable damages differ from one case to another. You might want to contact a lawyer to discuss what damages you may recover and ensure you can secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
How Can a Lawyer Help You if You Suffered Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident?
When you work with a lawyer following a motorcycle accident, your lawyer will take your legal responsibility off your shoulders so you can devote your time and energy to getting better and recovering. Some of the ways a lawyer can help include:
- Inform you about your rights: Your lawyer can explain what type of compensation you may be entitled to and how to pursue it. They can also advise you on dealing with insurance companies and handling all legal aspects of your claim.
- Estimate the true value of your damages and losses: An attorney can work with you to accurately estimate your recoverable damages, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
- Gather your medical records: Your lawyer can obtain your medical records and use them to build a strong compensation case, whether you suffered a road rash or other injuries. They can also work with medical experts to establish the extent of your injuries.
- Ensure timely filing of paperwork: Filing paperwork can seem tedious and overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and trying to focus on recovery. A lawyer can ensure that all necessary paperwork gets filed on time, including insurance claims, court documents, and other legal forms.
- Put together a strong case: A skilled attorney will work to strengthen your case. They can collect evidence, interview witnesses, and present a compelling argument for why you should receive adequate compensation.
- Interview expert witnesses: In some cases, it may be necessary to interview expert witnesses who can testify about your injuries and their impact on your life. An attorney can identify and interview these witnesses on your behalf.
- Negotiate a higher settlement: Insurance companies often try to settle for a lower amount than you deserve. Your lawyer's job is to negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Fight for your best interests in court: If your case goes to court, your lawyer will advocate for your rights before a judge or jury to convince them to rule in your favor.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and suffered road rash or other injuries, a lawyer is the only person you can trust because your lawyer has a vested interest in protecting you and your rights.