If someone asked you about the most common injury from a bike accident, you might probably say a head injury. While this is true, another type of injury is just as common: road rash. Road rash is an injury that many people will underestimate at first glance. To the untrained eye, it may appear as just some scratches. But road rash can be as severe as a head injury for an injured rider.
If you’ve suffered road rash as a cyclist, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Find out how to seek compensation and why a bicycle accident lawyer can benefit your claim.
Road rash is an injury to your skin. It happens due to intense contact with a hard surface like a road. The area of your body that makes contact with the road can become red and inflamed. You may feel a burning sensation as your skin scrapes along the road. A road rash is similar to a burn in several ways, and the damage that it causes to the skin may be just as harmful.
Some signs of road rash include:
Some cyclists may not experience pain right away around their damaged skin. However, the pain may become worse over a matter of days.
Because road rash may not appear as threatening as a brain injury, many people consider it minor. But it can also be a serious injury that can lead to infection and other complications. Even if you feel fine, you may want to seek immediate medical attention following a road rash injury. If you don’t, your injuries can become more severe. Your road rash injury can become more serious and even lead to life-threatening septic shock.
Any time the skin tears open, infection is possible and even likely without proper treatment and precautions, such as antibiotics. Potential skin layers can tear when your skin drags against a rough surface. When these layers sustain damage, they leave the underlying tissue exposed and open to infection.
Dangerous bacteria can enter the affected area and begin to reproduce. When this happens, it can lead to even larger complications. Always have your road rash wounds professionally cleaned and dressed to prevent severe infections whenever possible.
An infection may present the following symptoms:
Infections can lead to more severe injuries. If your road rash injury is serious, you may risk developing other disorders like blood poisoning and septic shock. Blood poisoning is a dangerous condition that happens when harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream. This condition is known as sepsis.
People who experience sepsis are also at risk of experiencing a septic shock. This condition happens when a person’s blood pressure is extremely low following an infection. Once this happens, the person’s organs are in danger of failing. An immediate treatment that may include oxygen, medication, and antibiotics is necessary to prevent this from happening.
Another serious effect that stems from road rash is disfigurement. Disfigurement happens when there is severe scarring on the skin. Depending on the severity of the road rash, cyclists may experience this in the form of discoloration across the skin. This condition is known as traumatic tattooing.
Some cyclists may undergo a skin grafting procedure to heal their skin fully. Some cyclists may need surgery to remove the additional debris from the skin. But sometimes, the disfigurement and scarring are permanent.
A road rash injury doesn’t just involve physical pain. Your emotional and mental health can take a severe blow as well. The permanent scarring and disfigurement can affect your self-esteem. You may find it hard to come to terms with the physical changes in your body.
This may cause you to experience depression. In addition to depression, you may develop signs of PTSD. Your scars may serve as a reminder of your bike accident. This can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety. You may have to seek counseling or therapy to cope after your accident.
You should explore your legal options if another party causes your bike accident. Your road rash injury may have happened for several reasons.
Another car may have hit you from behind, throwing you off your bike. A driver may not have been paying attention and tried to merge as you were in the lane. A driver may have failed to yield the right of way and hit you.
No matter the scenario, someone else’s negligence caused you to experience serious harm. Overcoming an injury and possible infection is no joke. You may have to pay for several medical procedures or spend some time at the hospital. That can become quite expensive. If someone else is responsible for your accident, they should be financially accountable for your damages.
Even though you may deserve your damages, you may face a large challenge: the insurance companies. Insurance companies will do everything possible to deny or minimize your bike accident claim. Even if it’s legitimate, they may harass you by questioning every aspect of your claim.
Even worse, they may try to convince you that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim. Always work with a bike accident lawyer to give yourself the best possible chance of a favorable outcome of your claim.
Working with a lawyer can increase your chances of being successful with your claim. A lawyer knows how common and serious road rash injuries are for cyclists. They understand how detrimental the injury can be for you and your family.
Lawyers also know how to protect you from a legal standpoint. They know insurance companies will stop at nothing to avoid paying claims. Your lawyer can help review your rights with you and handle all communications with insurance adjusters. They can provide any answers that the insurance company needs on your behalf without jeopardizing your case.
Your lawyer can help you hold the other party liable for your bike accident. As a bike rider, you are considered a pedestrian. Regarding motor vehicle laws, pedestrians have the right of way. Unfortunately, drivers do not always safely share the road with cyclists.
You must show evidence of a driver’s negligence to ensure the other person will be liable for your accident. Negligence is an act of carelessness that leads to harm to another person. For a bike accident claim, you must prove negligence through four elements.
You must prove:
Unless you can prove all of these elements, you may be unable to hold the other person liable for your accident. That is why you need the help of a bicycle accident lawyer. They have experience in proving all of these elements of negligence.
A lawyer can also help you consider all of your legal options. Going up against insurance companies can seem impossible. You filed an insurance claim for your injuries with the other driver’s insurance company and received a denial. At first, it may seem like the end of the world—until you speak with a lawyer. A lawyer may tell you that an initial denial or an insultingly low settlement offer is common for insurance companies.
As your lawyer continues to review your claim, they discover ways to strengthen your claim. You should leave the consultation feeling more hopeful about your chances of compensation.
With the right legal help, you may have an opportunity to successfully settle out of court with the insurance company. Your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations. During the settlement process, your attorney will advise you when a settlement offer is too low and you should reject it. They can then present further evidence and arguments to fight for the compensation you need. If they obtain a fair settlement offer, you will sign an agreement and receive your compensation within a specific time.
Insurance companies are known for offering low settlement offers to bike accident victims. They hope that your immediate need for compensation will cause you to accept any offer they throw out. Never accept anything without first consulting an attorney who can review all settlement offers and share whether it is in your best interest.
At some point, negotiation with the insurance company may become futile. If this happens, your lawyer can prepare to file a lawsuit in civil court. Preparing for litigation is not as intimidating as it sounds with the right representation. Your lawyer will prepare you for any depositions or in case you have to testify in court.
Your lawyer can also gather the strongest evidence for your case. Lawyers can gather various pieces of evidence to prove the other party’s liability and the severity of your losses. You can focus on your treatment and recovery with peace of mind.
Your lawyer can also request the testimony of a medical professional. Medical professionals offer the most credible piece of testimony for road rash injuries. Many people don’t understand how serious these injuries can become. Medical professionals are the best witnesses to explain the severity of these injuries to the courts.
Having a lawyer on your side will help you achieve a successful claim outcome, but a lack of finances is the main reason why many victims don’t hire a lawyer. However, most injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis.
This means that unless your case results in a successful outcome, you will not be responsible for paying attorney fees. If you receive compensation from your case, your attorney will keep an agreed-upon percentage directly from your settlement as their fees. You don’t have to worry about paying any fees or costs out of your pocket.
If you have suffered road rash because of another person’s negligence, schedule a free consultation with a bike accident lawyer today. You deserve proper compensation for the damages that your road rash injury has caused.
To learn more about your legal options following a bicycle accident that caused road rash, schedule your free consultation. You deserve compensation for your losses when injured by someone else’s negligence, and the right personal injury attorney can help.
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