Personal Injury Lawyer Atlanta, Georgia
Se Habla Español

Treatment for Road Rash Infection After a Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident

Biker couple riding down the road in the sunset

For motorcyclists and bicyclists, road rash is a painful yet common injury that occurs when a rider falls and slides across the road, sidewalk, or ground. A fall can be caused by loss of balance, debris, or uneven terrain. Most falls result in light road rash and are not life-threatening. But a severe fall, often caused by an impact with a passenger car or large truck, can leave a rider with painful scrapes that can become infected.

Even if a rider is wearing protective gear, the force of the crash can still scrape away padding and tear off skin. As the body is dragged across the rough surface, it creates friction against the exposed areas (usually the hands, arms, and legs). In just a fraction of time, the skin is peeled away, exposing sensitive tissues to harmful bacteria.

When road rash removes the protective layer of the outer skin, it can leave the injured area raw, red, inflamed, and bloody. In severe third-degree cases, road rash exposes muscle or bone. If left untreated, a serious road rash injury can lead to permanent nerve damage and life-threatening infections.

Symptoms of Road Rash Infection

Pain and swelling are common symptoms of road rash as the body fights off infections and the skin heals. Look for signs of infection, which may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, fatigue, and body aches)
  • Foul-smelling fluid draining from the wound
  • Increased redness
  • Pain that increases after the first day
  • Pus or fluid leaking from the wound
  • Swelling that doesn’t fade or gets worse
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Unusual warmth in the injured area

Infections Are Dangerous

Severe road rash that is left untreated may lead to blood poisoning. Also known as sepsis, blood poisoning is a dangerous condition that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and infect the body. Sepsis often becomes septic shock — a potentially deadly condition involving extremely low blood pressure and eventual organ failure.

Septic shock is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate attention to prevent severe complications or death.

Treating Road Rash and Preventing Infection

After a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, or serious fall, seek medical care, especially if:

  • The road rash wound is three times bigger than the palm of your hand.
  • The road rash wound is on your face, hands, feet, or genitals.
  • Muscles or bones are visible.
  • Foreign objects, like glass and rocks, are embedded in the skin.
  • There is an alarming amount of bleeding.
  • There are signs of infection.

A doctor can advise you on the best way to care for the wound and may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate any bacterial infections before they become a problem. They may also administer a tetanus shot to protect the nervous system.

There are many kinds of bacteria, and they respond differently to different kinds of antibiotics. Studies by The Mayo Clinic and CDC have found an increase in “super bug” infections among road rash victims. This is why it is extremely important to be able to recognize signs of infection and keep your treating physician informed of your progress.

Minor road rash infections usually go away after two weeks and a full course of oral antibiotics. For serious infections and severe road rash, the injured rider may need to be hospitalized and given potent antibiotics via IV lines. For skin graft surgeries, additional medication and wound care will be required to manage pain and prevent further infection.

Compensation for Road Rash Injuries

A road rash infection can mean hospitalization, expensive medical treatment, and missed time from work. Road rash can also leave a person with embarrassing scars or tattoo-like stains (known as “traumatic tattoos”) from debris trapped under the skin.

If your road rash injury was sustained in a motorcycle or bicycle accident due to someone else’s maliciousness or driving error, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your losses. By filing a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc.

The best thing you can do right now is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

At Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we fight aggressively on behalf of our clients who are injured in motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, and other personal injury incidents. You deserve compassionate care and someone who can take on the insurance company's legion of lawyers trying to deny your claim.

Call us today at (770) 934-8000 for a free consultation.

Civil Justice
Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
Nation's Premiere 2023
Client Champion Silver 2023
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Expertise Best Workers Compensation Lawyers in Atlanta 2024
Expertise Best Wrongful Death Attorneys in Atlanta 2024
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers in Norcross 2022
Expertise Best Workers Compensation Lawyers in John's Creek 2022
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers in Conyers 2021
Expertise Best Car Accident Lawyers 2019
America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
MultiMillion Dollar Advocates Forum
Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers
Top 25 Brain Injury Trial Lawyers
Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers
Top 10 Nursing Home Trial Lawyers
Super Lawyers
Voted Best of Gwinnett 2020
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Avvo Clients' Choice
Avvo Clients Choice
10 Best Attorney 2023
Keenan Trial Institute
Better Business Bureau
Telly Awards