Serious lacerations and abrasions—also known as “road rash”—are some of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes. It isn't difficult to see why: without any kind of exterior protection, motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to injuries caused by striking hard surfaces at high speeds.
Abrasion injuries are a type of friction burn that occurs when a motorcyclist's body slides across the concrete or pavement, resulting in the scraping away one or more layers of skin. Besides being extremely painful, these injuries often require costly medical treatment and extensive time off work, and can cause significant scarring.
If you suffered devastating abrasion injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you need to know about seeking financial recovery for abrasion injuries.
Types of Abrasion Injuries
Much like traditional burns, abrasion injuries can be categorized by degree of injury. Types of abrasion injuries include:
- First-degree abrasions: Though these relatively minor abrasions rarely break the skin, they can make it red and painful. First-degree abrasions can be treated at home and most people completely recover from them with no long-term effects.
- Second-degree abrasions: Injuries like these can be characterized by red, irritated, and painful broken skin that may have open wounds, and significant bruising and bleeding. While not life-threatening, second-degree abrasions should be treated promptly by a qualified medical professional to ensure recovery, and prevent scarring and permanent disfigurement.
- Third-degree abrasions: The most severe form of abrasion injury, third-degree abrasions can completely scrape away the layers of skin, damage subcutaneous fat or muscle tissue, and even expose bone. Third-degree abrasions require emergency medical attention that may include reconstructive surgery. Motorcyclists with third-degree abrasion wounds have a high risk for infection, as well as heavy scarring and disfigurement.
In an attempt to avoid abrasion injuries, many motorcyclists wear heavy leather jackets when they ride to provide their skin with as much protection as possible in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, in many cases, even heavy leather riding jackets are no match for the friction motorcyclists experience when dragged across the pavement.
Not Just Minor Injuries
While some insurance adjusters may try to characterize abrasion injuries as minor cuts and scrapes, these injuries—as well as their financial impact on injured motorcyclists—can actually be quite serious. Depending on the severity of the abrasion wounds, motorcyclists may:
- Require extensive and ongoing medical treatment
- Be unable to work
- Suffer from chronic pain
- Face significant scarring and disfigurement
Working with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience handling motorcycle accident cases can help injured motorcyclists ensure that their abrasion injuries are losses are taken seriously.
Potential Compensation for Abrasion Injuries
Motorcyclists who suffer abrasion injuries in accidents that weren't their fault may be eligible for compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate accident victims for calculable monetary losses incurred as a result of the motorcycle crash, such as:
- Past and future medical bills related to the accident
- Property damage to the motorcycle
- Wages lost while out of work recovering
- Loss of earning potential if the injuries prevent a motorcyclist from returning to work in any capacity
Conversely, non-economic damages are intended to provide compensation for injuries and losses for which there is no set value, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you were left with serious abrasion injuries after being involved in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent motorist, McGartland Law Firm can help you pursue compensation. Do you have questions or concerns about a motorcycle accident case involving abrasion injuries? Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.