Can I Sue the Driver Who Caused My Motorcycle Crash if My Only Injury Was Road Rash?

Motorcycle Rider With Road Rash Caused by a Motorcycle WreckMotorcycle crashes can cause catastrophic injuries, and escaping with “just” road rash might seem like a best-case scenario. However, depending on the seriousness of the injury, you might not be all that lucky. An extreme road rash injury can lead to costly medical care and ongoing treatment.

If you have suffered serious injuries and incurred large medical bills after a negligent driver caused your crash, you can hold the driver accountable, regardless of the specific type of injury—road rash included. Our Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorney team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a serious road rash injury.

How Can Road Rash Be a Serious Injury?

When you were a kid learning to ride a bicycle, you probably crashed dozens of times and scraped your knee or elbow on the pavement. It probably hurt a lot, but all you needed was some antiseptic and a Band-Aid, and you were off once again.

Road rash is a much more serious version of the same injury. Your exposed arm, leg, or torso hits the pavement, and the skin is scraped. But when it happens after falling off a motorcycle, there is a lot more force behind the scrape—and more damage is done. Serious complications from a road rash injury include:

  • Infection. When several layers of skin are scraped off on filthy, gritty pavement, dirt, rocks, engine oil, and bacteria can become embedded in raw, exposed tissue, leading to a serious infection that can become life-threatening. The deeper the scrape is, the more difficult the wound will be to clean and the more likely an infection becomes.
  • Nerve and muscle damage. The speed with which your body will hit the pavement when you are thrown from your motorcycle means that a road rash injury will be deep, impacting more than just layers of skin. Muscle tissue and nerves can also be damaged, leading to permanent loss of mobility, strength, and sensation.
  • Disfigurement. Road rash affects a large area of the body part that hits the ground, and there is often no way to reduce the amount of scarring that will occur. While a narrow laceration can be stitched to lessen the scarring, a wide abrasion cannot be treated similarly. If a skin graft is needed to replace lost tissue, the disfigurement could be even worse.
  • Intense pain. Much like a thermal burn, road rash is extremely painful because such a large area is affected, and so many nerve endings are impacted. Healing can be a slow process requiring frequent wound cleaning, bandage changes, and antibiotics.

On top of these potential complications from road rash, many motorcycle crash victims also have other serious injuries, such as neck and head injuries and broken bones.

Damages That Could Be Available After a Road Rash Injury

Road rash is diagnosed according to degree classifications, just like thermal burns. Third-degree road rash—where fat, tissue, and possibly even bone is exposed—is considered a medical emergency, and treatment and recovery will be intense.

If you sustain second- or third-degree road rash after a crash caused by a negligent driver, you could be owed the following damages:

  • Medical expenses. Emergency services, infection treatment, skin grafts, plastic surgery, hospital stays, and ongoing wound care come at a cost. If someone else is at fault for your crash, they should be held accountable for these expenses.
  • Lost wages. If you are unable to work while you receive treatment and recover from your road rash injury, you should be reimbursed for lost wages or paid time off.
  • Lost earning capacity. Workers who suffer permanent damage and disability in an accident may not be able to continue earning the same wages they earned before their accident. In this situation, the liable party should be made to make up the difference in earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering. Road rash can cause extreme pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You should receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

A personal injury lawyer who welcomes motorcycle accident victims will have the tools necessary to determine the full value of your claim based on your specific situation.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller