There’s nothing like a motorcycle ride on the open road to calm your mind and clear your head, especially in times of crisis. We love the freedom motorcycles offer but know that bikers are vulnerable during a crash. Road rash, a burn-like condition that happens when the road scrapes against your skin, is one of the most common injuries bikers face during an accident.
It’s tempting to ignore road rash and assume that it will heal on its own. Sometimes, you may be able to care for your injuries and avoid going into a health center or hospital. However, if your injuries are severe, you need to know how to take care of them safely. In this blog, we’ll outline what to do if you get road rash injuries during a motorcycle crash in Mississippi or Alabama.
What Is Road Rash?
Road rash is caused by friction during a fall, rubbing away layers of your skin. Sometimes called a “raspberry,” minor road rash can feel like a bad sunburn. However, serious cases often need emergency medical care—and even surgery. While most cases are relatively mild, there are three types of road rash– and doctors treat them all very differently.
- First-degree road rash: Your skin feels burnt and painful, and your skin looks red. However, you may not have broken your skin or only have minor scrapes.
- Second-degree road rash: The road’s surface or debris breaks your skin during the motorcycle accident, and dirt, rocks, and glass may get stuck in the wound. You may experience permanent scarring.
- Third-degree road rash: A very severe injury, friction rubs away all the layers of your skin. You may need a skin graft and are likely to see permanent scarring.
The best way to protect against road rash is by riding safely and wearing proper protective equipment. However, even the most responsible motorcycle rider can’t avoid every road rash injury, especially when someone else’s unsafe actions cause you to crash your bike.
What to Do if You Have Road Rash
After a motorcycle accident, you should always assess your injuries and call 911 to report the crash. If you have any aches and pains, you should consult with a doctor. Infections and scarring are common after road rash injuries, and it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Sometimes, your doctors will suggest monitoring and simple home remedies.
How to Treat Minor, First-Degree Cases of Road Rash
If you have a minor case of road rash, where your skin is just red and irritated, you may be able to treat it at home using a few simple supplies. However, even if your wound is treatable at home, we always recommend that victims contact their doctor to get advice and document their injury.
To treat first-degree road rash, you should:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Clean the area, but don’t scrub too hard and risk causing more damage
- Apply antibiotic cream to the cleaned wound and cover with a clean bandage
Make sure to keep the bandage fresh and clean. If you notice any signs of infection, like increased pain, inflammation, redness, pus, or drainage, call your doctor right away.
During the coronavirus crisis, we don’t recommend going to the doctor without calling them first. However, if your wound isn’t healing well, you should get medical attention, either in-person by appointment or through your doctor’s telehealth system.
How to Treat a Second-Degree or Third-Degree Case of Road Rash
If your road rash is severe or you have debris stuck deep in your skin, you need to have it treated by a health professional. Signs include:
- A large open wound, where you can see muscle or bone or is bleeding a lot
- The injury is located in a sensitive area, like face, hands, or feet
- There is a large amount of debris in the wound, or there is particularly painful debris, like glass, stuck in the wound
- You are also suffered broken bones, sprains or strains, or other wounds
To clean and repair your injuries, you may need surgery, skin grafts, and prescription medications. In a very serious case, you may need to go by ambulance directly to the emergency room for treatment—the first responders will do their best to keep you safe.
However, you should never postpone treatment for second or third-degree road rash, even during the COVID-19 lockdown. If improperly cleaned and treated, road rash can easily become infected and result in serious scarring, causing you more pain and money in the future. At the very least, you should call your doctor and ask for advice. They will suggest a treatment plan that keeps you safe.
Suffering From Road Rash? A Motorcycle Crash Attorney Can Help
After a motorcycle crash, the road to recovery is often long and challenging. Not only are you healing from physical injuries, but emotional pain and stress, and financial hardship as well. If the crash was caused by someone else on the road, you shouldn’t have to suffer, and you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical bills, the costs to fix your bike, or lose out on income.
Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit is the first step to recovering those costs and getting what you need to heal. However, insurance companies often try to blame bikers, unfairly stereotyping them as risk-takers, to avoid paying out a fair settlement.
To fight back, you’ll need an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney who understands your community, lifestyle, and the law. You should also look for a lawyer that has tools to support you as you pursue justice during the coronavirus quarantine.
Hurt on Your Motorcycle? Call the Andy Citrin Team Today
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re proud of our winning reputation and our ability to serve victims in times of crisis. If you have questions about your options after a crash and can’t leave your house, our team is here to help. You can request a confidential, free case evaluation to understand your legal options and what to do next.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. (2017, September). Care of Road Rash and Abrasions Trauma. UW Health. Retrieved from https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/trauma/6820.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.