How you treat road rash from a motorcycle accident depends on the type and severity of your abrasions.
How Can I Determine the Severity of My Road Rash Injury?
Like burns from a motorcycle accident, doctors classify road rash by degree. First-degree road rash is the least severe; third-degree is most severe.
First Degree: Small cuts and scrapes on your skin. You may also notice that your skin is a bit reddened.
Second Degree: The top layer of your skin breaks. The underlying layers of skin will still be intact, but your cuts will be visible. While scarring is possible, simple treatments should adequately treat your wounds.
Third Degree: Your skin peels away completely. These injuries often involve breaking five layers of skin, down to the fat. The most severe abrasions will expose muscle, tendons, bones, and nerves. (Note: There may be no pain with a third-degree road rash injury as the nerves may have suffered damage. If you feel no pain at the wound site, go straight to the emergency room.)
CAUTION: To treat a third-degree road rash injury, you must receive immediate medical attention. Head to the emergency room straightaway. Without immediate treatment, the victim might suffer various road rash complications such as infection or tissue death.
How Can I Treat My Wounds Myself if I Do Not Require Medical Attention?
You likely do not require medical attention for a first-degree road rash injury. You may want to head to the doctor to receive a proper cleaning of your second-degree road rash injury.
Cleanliness is your primary objective when you have suffered road rash injuries. Clean first- and second-degree road rash abrasions immediately. This helps you prevent minor injuries from becoming major infections.
If you decide against professional medical treatment or cannot visit a doctor right away, perform the following steps:
- Wash your hands and remove any remaining debris from your wounds. Sterilize any tools you use to remove the debris.
- Avoid scrubbing the injured areas directly because this could lead to scarring.
- Apply a clean cloth to your wound if there is any bleeding.
- Rinse your wound with soap and water. Use antibacterial soap and saline if you have it.
- Apply antiseptic ointments and creams to your wounds. Products like Neosporin should be enough to treat your wounds. Apply once a day or as needed.
- Apply bandages at any sites of open, injured skin. Wrap your wound with non-stick gauze. Do not wrap too tightly.
- Clean your wounds at least once per day.
- You will likely be in some degree of pain following your accident. Take some over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin to ease the pain.
- Keep the initial wound areas covered at all times until your wounds begin to heal.
- Visit a physician if your wounds are large, or if you notice signs of infection.
First- and second-degree road rash abrasions should heal within two to four weeks. If your injuries linger longer than that, your wound might be more severe than you originally thought.
What Signs of Infection Should I Look For?
Because of the tiny pieces of debris that can become caught in a road rash wound, infection is common without proper cleaning. The following are signs of infection:
- Increased redness and swelling
- Drainage or puss emanating from the wound.
- Flu-like symptoms, including fever, shivers, and vomiting
- Heat at the wound site
If you have any of the symptoms above, head to an urgent care clinic or emergency room as soon as possible.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Road Rash Treatment Costs?
Road rash abrasions are treatable, but often require lots of maintenance. Depending on the severity of the injury, you might end up paying hundreds or even thousands out of pocket for treatment.
If another party was at-fault for your motorcycle accident, you can recover treatment costs from that party. Call the team at S. Burke Law today to discuss your case for free: 404-842-7838.