Road rash (or road burns) are essentially abrasions, cuts, and lacerations that are caused when you are forcefully scraped or dragged on pavement, concrete or other hard surfaces following a motorcycle wreck. These types of injuries are extremely common, affecting thousands of motorcyclists each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The severity of road rash can range from minor to life-threatening, and can lead to serious complications. A seemingly small wound could result in permanent damage to tissue, muscle and nerves; bone deterioration; gangrene; and amputation if the wound becomes infected. This is why it is important to know how to properly clean and treat your injuries before infection sets in.
Cleansing and Treating Road Rash Injuries
All road rash injuries (no matter how severe) should be seen by a medical professional. However, if you’re unable to immediately see a doctor, you can help stave off infection by cleaning and treating minor wounds yourself. Simply follow these instructions:
- Clean the area with warm water. Wash away debris and dirt from the wound, as they can easily and quickly cause infections. Use sterilized tweezers to remove embedded particles.
- Prevent bacterial infections. Apply antibiotic ointment and a loose bandage to cover the area and prevent further debris from having contact with the wound.
- Wash the wound at least once a day. Use soap and warm water to gently clean the area.
- Let it breathe when healing. Once the wound stops oozing and is no longer shiny, remove the dressing to allow air to continue the healing process and form a scab.
For severe cases of road rash, make sure you seek immediate medical attention. While you wait for care, assess the damage and follow these simple tips. They could wind up saving you from infection, amputation, or even death.
- Allow minor bleeding, it helps clean debris out of the wound.
- Stop severe bleeding as soon as possible. Apply direct pressure to badly bleeding areas and call for emergency medical care.
- Identify the severity of the wound. Does it need stitches, cleaning or patching?
- Are you injured anywhere else? Make sure you’re not seriously injured anywhere else, especially around the head, neck, or spine.
- Don’t cover up the injury until a doctor has assessed it.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for proper cleaning and maintenance.
Long-Term Care and Justice
Treating road rash is not always as simple as cleaning the wound and moving on with your life. Severe road rash injuries may require multiple reconstructive surgeries and expensive ongoing treatment to prevent horrible scarring, infection complications, and future tearing of damaged tissue. This is why it is important not only to get immediate care, but also to make sure you have the ability to follow up with future care. Regrettably, many insurance companies will not factor long-term treatments or how your injury will affect your future into their settlement proposals. We’ll make sure they do!
Not sure if you want to pursue a compensatory claim? Treatment and recovery from a motorcycle crash can not only be long and arduous but extremely expensive. Don’t become overwhelmed by medical debt when you deserve to have your medical bills paid for you. Call today for a free consultation. It’s our job to make sure you get the justice you deserve—and we take that job very seriously!
Make sure your family and friends know how to identify road rash and when to get treatment by sharing this page with them via Facebook or Twitter. When staring down at a gaping wound, they’ll be glad you did.
Have you been involved in motorcycle wreck caused by a negligent driver? Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.488 for your free consultation. The Hart Law Firm represents injured victims throughout the great state of Texas including Colleyville, Arlington, Grapevine, North Richland, Bedford, Hurst, Irving, Euless and all points between.