Motorcycle accident scene with rider with road rash injuries

Road rash is a serious motorcycle accident injury.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. When the skin scrapes against the surface of asphalt during a motorcycle crash, layers of the skin are quickly worn away. Glass, rocks, metal, and other debris from the road may enter the body through the wound and the injury can be significant.

But Not All Types of Road Rash Are the Same

Three different types of road rash are:

  • Avulsion. Road rash that is known as avulsion is the most common of the three types. With avulsion road rash, the skin is scraped away and lower layers of fat, muscle, and even bone may be exposed as a result.
  • Open wound. Open wound road rash typically requires stitches. The more severe cases of open wound road rash require the victim to undergo a skin graft as well.
  • Compression. Compression road rash occurs when a part of the body is caught between two objects. With a motorcycle, this is most likely the motorcycle and the road. Compression road rash can cause bruising, muscle damage, and broken bones.

Road rash injuries commonly affect:

  • The outside of the lower legs
  • Knees
  • Palms
  • Shoulders
  • Thighs
  • Face

The severity of a road rash injury depends on many factors, such as the…

  • Force of the crash
  • Type of surface where the crash occurs
  • Safety gear worn

Road rash injuries can be categorized in three categories, called degrees. Those levels, from mildest to most severe, are:

  • First degree. A first-degree road rash injury is when the first layer of skin in visibly red. First-degree road rash does not need typically need any medical treatment. It will most likely heal on its own.
  • Second degree. When the first level of skin breaks from road rash, it is considered to be a second-degree wound. As with a first-degree road rash injury, it will most likely heal on its own. Typically, there will be no scarring or permanent damage.
  • Third degree. The third, and most severe, degree of road rash occurs when the skin is peeled away, leaving fat and tissue exposed. This type of road rash commonly requires the victim to undergo skin grafts or reconstructive surgery.

Any of these injuries can result from a motorcycle accident.

Serious Complications of Road Rash

Road rash increases the risk of medical complications following a motorcycle accident. These complications include:

  • Infection
  • Intense pain
  • Permanent scars

Medical treatment is necessary to help minimize these complications.

How Road Rash Is Treated

Treatment of road rash can be complicated, especially because it is often combined with other types of motorcycle accident injuries such as crushed or fractured bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Debris must be surgically removed before the wound can be treated. Many victims require skin grafts and plastic surgery. Even with the best treatment, road rash can lead to permanent scarring.

The treatment can be long and painful and often leaves deep scars.

Recovering From Road Rash

Medical care following a serious motorcycle accident injury, such as road rash, can quickly become expensive. If you have been in a motorcycle crash that is not your fault, you need a lawyer to protect your interests. Call us today at 1-800-800-5678 now and begin protecting your rights and your future.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.