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Spotting Infections Caused by Road Rash

By Grant Law Office on May 17, 2021

biker driving down two-lane road

Road rash is a painful but common injury in motorcycle and bicycle accidents, occurring when a rider falls and slides across pavement or dirt. Even with protective gear, the skin can be scraped off, leaving the area raw, red, inflamed, and bleeding. As road rash breaks the protective barrier of the skin, it can also turn into a serious, or even life-threatening, infection.

What Causes Road Rash Injuries and Infections?

Road rash occurs when a part of the body is dragged against a rough surface, creating friction against exposed areas of skin. Skin layers can be peeled away in the process, leaving the underlying tissue exposed and vulnerable to infection. In severe, third-degree cases of road rash, muscle or bone is exposed by the injury, potentially leading to nerve damage.

Our skin provides a protective barrier for the body. When the skin is broken, as with road rash, harmful bacteria can enter the body and begin to reproduce and multiply. This can cause disease and lead to serious infections.

Symptoms of Infection With Road Rash

Pain and swelling are common with road rash and may last for several days. Signs of infection include:

  • Warmth in the area
  • Pain that increases after the first day
  • Swelling and increased redness
  • Pus or fluid draining from the wound
  • Foul-smelling wound drainage
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever, chills, body aches, and other flu-like symptoms

Dangers of Infections

With serious road rash, it is possible to develop blood poisoning. Technically known as sepsis, blood poisoning is a dangerous infection that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream. Sepsis can lead to septic shock – a life-threatening condition involving organ failure and dangerously low blood pressure. Septic shock requires emergency medical attention to prevent serious complications or death.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections after serious motorcycle accidents. These medications can kill harmful bacteria in the body and prevent them from multiplying. Some bacteria may respond to a particular antibiotic, while others may not. For milder road rash infections, oral antibiotics are typically prescribed. For a more serious infection, you may need to be hospitalized and given more potent IV doses of antibiotics. If the road rash is severe, you may also need reconstructive skin-grafting surgery when the infection is under control.

Fighting for Full Compensation

When road rash leads to serious infection, it can mean hospitalization, extensive medical treatment, and time away from work. If your road rash was sustained in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim. You may be entitled to damages including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Your best course of action is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

At Grant Law Office, we provide aggressive and compassionate representation after motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and a range of personal injury matters. Wayne Grant has been named to Georgia Super Lawyers® and is rated AV Preeminent® 5 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating. Together, our husband-and-wife team of Atlanta personal injury attorneys takes a thorough approach to cases, employing strategic thought and planning. Call us today at (404) 995-3955 to schedule a free consultation. We can explain your options under the law.

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