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Can I Recover Compensation for Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident?

August 28, 2023

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience in the open air, but sadly this same open-air design leaves motorcycle riders extremely vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash including painful and disfiguring road rash. While car drivers have the protection of seatbelts, airbags, and a metal enclosure between their bodies and the road, most motorcyclists make direct contact with the road during an accident.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident caused by a driver’s negligence, reckless driving, or intoxication, you might be wondering if you can gain compensation for your painful road rash injuries. Consider speaking with an experienced Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer to explore your options for financial compensation.

Can I Recover Compensation for Road Rash in a Motorcycle Accident?

What is Road Rash?

Motorcycle accident victims can suffer serious and even deadly injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and multiple fractures, but the most common motorcycle injury is road rash. While many riders wear thick, protective clothing such as leather jackets and chaps, even the thickest fabrics cannot always protect them from road rash. This type of injury occurs when a motorcycle rider is thrown from their bike during a crash and physically slides, bumps, and scrapes along the concrete, tar, or asphalt road at high speed. The highspeed scraping against a rough surface literally removes layers of skin in what’s sometimes called a friction burn, since grading and treating road rash is similar to treating burn injuries.

Depending on the layer of skin the road rash penetrates, a doctor could diagnose the victim with first, second, or third-degree road rash.

  • First-degree road rash only penetrates the first layer of skin in what’s sometimes called a “raspberry.”
  • Second-degree road rash penetrates into the deeper layer of skin and can leave deep scars.
  • Third-degree road rash is the most serious, penetrating completely through the dermis and into the underlying muscle.

All road rash is intensely painful. Deep road rash is disfiguring and may require amputation. In extreme cases, road rash may cause death through bleeding, infection, and tetanus.

Compensation for Road Rash Injuries

When another driver was at fault for your road rash injuries in a motorcycle accident, they are liable for damages. All drivers owe a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries to others by following traffic laws, avoiding distractions, and remaining vigilant to the presence of motorcycles on the roadway. If they breach this duty and cause a motorcyclist to crash, they are liable for damages—including for painful road rash. These damages are typically paid out through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.

Damages in motorcycle crashes often include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses for ongoing or related treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity if the crash injuries caused a disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other applicable non-economic damages such as loss of limb, disfigurement, diminished life quality, and PTSD

Road rash injury victims can often claim compensation for serious non-economic damages, since severe road rash may leave them with disfiguring scars or an amputated limb. Road rash is also one of the most painful injuries and takes a long time to heal. If you’ve suffered road rash injuries due to a driver’s negligence, you could gain significant compensation for your injuries.

While financial compensation cannot erase road rash, it can help relieve financial stress so you can focus on healing from your wounds.

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