Former Insurance Defense Attorney Turned Personal Injury Attorney

Understand the risks you face with severe road rash

Auto accidents can produce any number of serious injuries. They're likely to be particularly bad if the accident involves a cyclist or pedestrian.

Of the injuries that can occur, one that should be considered is the possibility of severe road rash. If you're knocked off your bike or hit as a pedestrian, you may be thrown and skid across the ground. The friction has the potential to cause serious injuries, to rip the skin and to create large, open wounds. In severe cases, some people require skin grafts to help heal the wounded regions of the body.

What is road rash?

Road rash is simply a kind of friction burn. It's an abrasion, but it can involve more than just the first few layers of skin.

While minor or moderate road rash may be able to be treated at home with some common first-aid techniques, more severe cases cannot be. They require immediate care from a medical professional. Some patients may need surgery.

What are some common concerns with road rash injuries?

One of the main concerns it that the abrasion may become infected. Some injuries are so severe that they involve all layers of the skin, some muscle tissues and ligaments. Even bones may be scraped on the surface if the friction is strong enough.

In those cases, patients may need to go through surgery to have the wounds cleaned. This helps prevent infection. Additionally, some large or deep wounds may require drains or to be left open, so that they heal well from the deepest areas outward.

If there is not enough skin to help pull the wound back together, then a surgeon may have to take skin from another area of the body for a skin graft.

Who is at the highest risk of suffering from road rash?

While those who suffer road rash are usually motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians can suffer from it as well. Anyone who has skin openly scrape against a rough roadway, sidewalk or other area could suffer from road rash.

If you are involved in a car crash and were not wearing protective clothing, you may have road rash to address. Go to the hospital to make sure you get full medical treatment. That way, your medical provider can determine if you need a skin graft or other treatments to prevent infection and to help your wound heal correctly as time passes.

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