Road rash is one of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. Motorcyclists lack the protection that other vehicle drivers have. When collisions force them onto the rough surface of the road, painful, and potentially serious road rash injuries can occur.
If you sustained a road rash in a Cheyenne motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the attorneys of Olson Law Firm, LLC, today to discuss the details of your case in a free initial consultation.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash is a type of skin abrasion caused by friction burns. These injuries occur when skin slides against a rough surface, such as the road, and the resulting friction scrapes some or all of the skin away.
Road rash is usually extremely painful and can have long-lasting consequences. When skin is removed or compromised, it can no longer effectively protect the body from pathogens in the surrounding environment. That can lead to dangerous infections. Immediate medical care is crucial after most road rash injuries.
Types of Road Rash
Three main types of road rash can occur. Accident victims may sustain one or more types due to a motorcycle wreck:
- Avulsion – Avulsion is the most common type of road rash. Avulsion injuries occur when the rough surface of the road peels the skin away from the body. This can result in exposed bone, fat, or muscle tissue.
- Compression – Compression injuries occur when the body is trapped between a motorcycle and another hard surface. The subsequent pressure can cause road rash that results in bruising and serious tissue damage.
- Open wound – Open wound road rash injuries are typically quite serious and require surgery. In especially severe cases, crash victims require surgical grafts to repair the skin.
Degrees of Road Rash
Road rash injuries can also be categorized based on the severity, or degree, of the damage. The three degrees of road rash include:
- First-degree – The mildest type of road rash, first-degree road rash typically results in redness, bruising, and minor bleeding. This type of road rash may be painful but can usually be treated at home.
- Second-degree – Significantly more severe, second-degree road rash involves abrasions that penetrate layers of skin, exposing sensitive tissues to possible infection. Bleeding and swelling are common. Medical care is typically necessary. Many second-degree road rashes result in scarring.
- Third-degree – The most severe category, third-degree road rash involves the complete removal of all layers of skin, exposing muscles, soft tissues, nerves, and bones. Medical attention is essential, and patients commonly suffer permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Treating Road Rash
The type of treatment needed to heal road rash injuries varies based on severity and location. The following types of treatment are often recommended for different degrees of road rash:
- Treatment for first-degree road rash – Injury victims can clean and disinfect the wound at home, dress it in a clean bandage, and keep it hydrated with antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly. Bandages should be changed at least daily. Injured persons should seek medical attention for any signs of infection.
- Treatment for second-degree road rash – Second-degree road rash may require professional medical care. Doctors may simply clean and dress the wound. More severe cases may require stitches, pain medication, and other treatment.
- Treatment for third-degree road rash – Professional medical attention is necessary for third-degree road rash. Medical providers will likely recommend stitches, at least, and may graft skin from another part of the body onto the injury site.
How to Prevent Road Rash in Cheyenne
As a motorcyclist, the best way to protect yourself from road rash injuries in Cheyenne is to wear proper protective gear at all times. Because motorcycles do not have a heavy steel frame to protect riders from the extreme forces of a traffic collision, what you wear will be the only thing between you and the road if you are thrown from your bike during a wreck. Defensive riding techniques can also help prevent a collision.
Motorcycle Safety Equipment
The most important pieces of motorcycle safety equipment you can wear to protect yourself from road rash and other injuries in a crash include:
- A well-fitted helmet with a face shield, hard outer shell, and shock-absorbent liner
- Thick gloves to protect your hands from abrasions
- A thick riding jacket and pants made from materials such as leather or Kevlar to protect your body
- Motorcycle boots that cover your ankles
Who Is Responsible for My Road Rash Injuries?
In most motorcycle accident cases, a negligent vehicle driver is at fault. Many car drivers collide with motorcyclists simply because they aren’t paying close attention to their surroundings. Vehicle drivers often don’t watch for or listen for motorcycles on the road and, therefore, are more likely to cause crashes.
Other road users could be responsible for your injuries, too. For example, if a pedestrian or bicyclist made an illegal maneuver that caused another driver to swerve out of their way and into you, the negligent pedestrian or cyclist could be at fault.
If you were partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you could recover in a personal injury claim would be reduced based on your portion of the blame. If you are found 51 percent or more at fault, you would be unable to claim any compensation in Wyoming.
Did You Suffer Road Rash Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you sustained road rash injuries in a Cheyenne motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced lawyer to help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you need. The attorneys of Olson Law Firm, LLC, can support you by:
- Explaining your legal rights and options
- Investigating the accident to uncover valuable evidence
- Communicating with other parties on your behalf
- Consulting with expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists
- Managing important deadlines and documents on your behalf
- Negotiating forcefully to maximize your compensation during settlement talks
- Taking your case to trial if necessary
Contact Our Experienced Cheyenne Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
The Cheyenne motorcycle accident lawyers of Olson Law Firm, LLC, can help you navigate the process of claiming the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more in a free initial case review.