Road rash injuries can be serious when bicyclists are involved in a crash with a vehicle. If you suffered a fall that sent you careening across the pavement, you could be facing long-term pain and scarring.
Types of Road Rash Injuries After a Bicycle Accident
Road rash, also known as road burn, is classified as first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree.
- First-degree road rash results in tender, red skin with minor scraping.
- Second-degree road rash victims have scraped, broken skin with some bleeding.
- Third-degree road rash means the wound has penetrated all skin layers, down to the fat layers below. In some cases, tendons, joints, and bone can be exposed.
Treatment for Road Rash
If you’ve suffered any type of road rash injury after being involved in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, you should seek medical treatment right away. Often the adrenaline rush after an accident can mask symptoms. In addition, with road rash injuries, the pain might not start until the healing process begins. You may need more medical care than you initially believed and failing to seek prompt treatment can cause complications for your personal injury claim.
With little protection between the bicyclist and the road or other vehicles, road rash and road burn injuries are serious. Victims can experience the following:
- Scarring. Any kind of road rash or burn can cause scarring, but the deeper the injury, the more likely it becomes that there will be permanent scarring.
- Nerve damage. If the road rash or burn scrapes off enough skin layers, there can be nerve damage in the affected area. This can lead to pain and sensitivity.
- Muscle and tendon damage. When road rash goes deep enough through the skin layers to expose muscles and tendons, this leaves the victim at a higher risk of infection. The pain from this type of injury is often severe.
- Permanent disfigurement. If the road rash or road burn goes all the way to the bone, the area may never look the same—even with immediate medical attention.
- Mental health complications. The pain and trauma of a severe road rash injury can cause a victim to suffer anxiety, depression, and other negative mental health symptoms—especially when there is permanent scarring or disfigurement. Counseling or antidepressant medication may be necessary.
After a crash, serious road rash requires medical intervention, including treatment by emergency room personnel and a doctor’s examination. If the injury covers a large percentage of the body or if doctors are concerned about infection, victims may be prescribed antibiotics.
When road rash is so bad that victims need surgical intervention as part of their recovery, this could include repairs to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that were damaged during the accident. Doctors might also recommend skin grafts, which involves removing skin from an uninjured part of the body to use to repair some of the skin impacted by road rash.
Recovery can be painful and time-consuming. Victims will usually have to make several trips to the doctor for monitoring of the healing process. They may also need physical therapy to restore movement to the injured areas. The joints can be affected, and the healing skin may be impacted by tightening and scarring, causing mobility problems. Limitations of movement can be permanent.
Seeking Compensation for a Road Rash or Road Burn Injury
If you suffered road rash in an accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your right to compensation that includes:
- Medical treatment costs, including emergency care, surgical expenses, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription pain medication
- Lost wages for the time you are unable to work due to your injuries, as well as any loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain of your injuries as well as emotional trauma you have experienced
Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help you piece together the details of the accident and file your claim so you get the compensation you deserve. If you suffered from road rash or burn injuries after a crash, make an appointment for a consultation with The Button Law Firm to learn more about your rights. We are here to help.