The lure of the open road is strong for motorcyclists, especially around Ocala, FL where the warm climate makes it possible to enjoy a ride year-round. Unfortunately, the risk of suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident is quite high. Not only does your lower-profile vehicle make mean you are not as visible to drivers, but the lack of a protective barrier means you could be seriously hurt. One of the more common types of injuries from Florida motorcycle accident is road rash, which occurs when exposed skin skids across pavement. While it may look like a rough scratch or abrasion, road rash is actually far more painful and can lead to long term health consequences.
Medical Description of Road Rash
The medical term for this type of wound is a “friction burn,” according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, but it is not a burn in the traditional sense. Road rash occurs because of the buildup of heat from friction, so it incorporates elements of both an abrasion and a heat burn. In fact, physicians may treat this injury like a burn because the forces of friction scrape off layers of skin much like thermal heat sources.
Degrees of Road Rash
The similarities between burns and road rash extend to the classifications medical professionals use to describe the severity of the injury. Therefore:
- A first-degree road rash is relatively minor, so you may sustain smaller scrapes, redness, bruising, and tenderness. There may be slight bleeding, but the wound can be cleaned and treated at home.
- When there is a severe rash, bleeding, swelling, and heat radiating from the wound, the injury is a second-degree friction burn. You may even see exposed muscle, tendons, or nerves, so it is critical to seek medical treatment immediately.
- You may suffer a third-degree road rash injury where the would is deep and skin is actually scraped clean off. There is more exposure of muscle, tendons, bone, and nerves, covering a larger area of your body. You may not experience severe pain because the nerves are damaged.
Long Term Consequences
The physics of a motorcycle accident make it more likely that you will suffer road rash injuries to your extremities, including the outer thighs, lower legs, knees, palms, feet, and shoulders. If you were not wearing a helmet, you may also experience abrasions to the face. Because this injury is a type of burn, the health implications are serious.
- Infection: The exposed skin and tissues are susceptible to bacteria and germs, which can lead to severe infection.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: The wounds of a road rash penetrate several layers of skin, so the scars will remain even if surgery is not necessary.
- Skin Graft Surgery: With serious second-degree and most third-degree road rash, you will need skin graft surgery – or many procedures – for your wounds to heal.
Contact a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you suffered road rash or any other injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible driver. For more information, please call 352-558-8480 to reach the Ocala, FL offices of Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law. We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.