Why Do You Need a Lawyer After Suffering Road Rash in a Bicycle Accident?

Posted on April 7, 2024 in Bicycle Accident

Road rash is a serious injury that occurs when an individual slides across a hard surface, such as concrete or macadam – frequently in a bicycle or motorcycle accident scenario. Road rash can lead to significant pain, scarring, and other lifetime consequences.

If you recently suffered a road rash injury in a bicycle accident that a negligent driver or other negligent party caused, you need to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Your Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer can review your medical records, obtain a copy of the police report, and pursue a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not make you a fair settlement offer for your road rash injury, your lawyer can pursue litigation in the state court system on your behalf.

What is Road Rash?

Road rash is a common injury resulting from skin abrasions sustained during a bicycle accident – especially when a person slides or skids along a hard surface like asphalt or concrete. It occurs when the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis, is scraped off due to friction with the road. While road rash is sometimes a minor injury, it can vary in severity, and proper medical attention is crucial to prevent complications and bring about timely healing.

The severity of road rash can vary, but you should take any type of road rash seriously, as any would can be susceptible to infection and complications:

Why Do You Need a Lawyer After Suffering Road Rash in a Bicycle Accident

  • Some cases involve superficial damage to the epidermis. Symptoms often include redness, swelling, and pain, similar to a mild sunburn.
  • Other forms of road rash involve damage to both the epidermis and the underlying layer of skin, known as the dermis. This type may result in open wounds, bleeding, and a higher risk of infection.
  • The most severe forms of road rash extend into the fat and muscle tissues beneath the skin. This can lead to extensive scarring, nerve damage, and prolonged recovery.

Medical treatment for road rash injuries depends upon the severity. For minor road rash, initial care usually involves cleaning the affected area with mild soap and water, followed by the application of an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Keeping the wound clean and covered with a sterile bandage helps prevent infection and promotes healing.

More severe road rash, on the other hand, may require more extensive care. Cleaning the wound thoroughly to remove debris is crucial, and antibiotic ointments are often applied. In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend tetanus shots to prevent infection. More severe cases may require professional medical attention, with stitches to close open wounds and reduce scarring.

Some cases of road rash often require immediate medical attention due to the depth of the injury. Cleaning and debriding the wound to remove damaged tissue may be necessary. In some instances, skin grafts can promote healing and minimize scarring.

Regardless of the severity, it’s essential to keep road rash injuries clean to prevent infection. Seeking medical advice ensures appropriate treatment and reduces the risk of complications. Following proper wound care instructions and attending follow-up appointments with healthcare professionals contribute to effective recovery from road rash injuries sustained in a bicycle collision.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents that Lead to Road Rash

Bicycle accidents resulting in road rash injuries often stem from various common causes, highlighting the importance of driver vigilance and safety. One prevalent factor is collisions with motor vehicles, especially when motorists fail to notice or yield to cyclists. These incidents frequently occur at intersections or when drivers make turns without adequately checking for oncoming bicycles, leading to collisions that result in road rash.

Another significant cause is hazardous road conditions. Uneven surfaces, potholes, or debris on the road often pose a serious risk to cyclists, particularly if they lose control or are thrown off balance. These conditions can contribute to accidents, causing cyclists to slide or fall and sustain road rash injuries.

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Dooring incidents, where a cyclist collides with an opening car door, are another common cause of bicycle accidents leading to road rash. Cyclists riding near parked cars may face sudden and unexpected obstacles, resulting in collisions and subsequent injuries.

Motorists who fail to obey traffic signals and signs also pose a significant risk to cyclists. Disregarding stop signs, running red lights, or failing to yield can lead to serious accidents that result in road rash or other injuries.

Distracted driving is also a contributing factor. Motorists who use mobile phones, listen to loud music in their cars, or engage in other distracting activities may compromise their ability to react to changing road conditions. This distraction can lead to accidents with cyclists, bringing about severe injuries.

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that a negligent driver or some other negligent party caused, you have legal rights and options available. A bicycle accident lawyer in your area can discuss your accident with you and determine the proper course of action for recovering compensation in your case.


How to Prove Road Rash in a Bicycle Accident Claim

Proving a road rash injury in a bicycle accident case requires gathering various types of evidence to establish the extent of the harm and the negligence of the responsible party. One crucial piece of evidence is medical documentation. Seeking prompt medical attention is essential, as medical records, doctor’s notes, and photographs of the injuries provide a comprehensive record of the road rash. These documents serve as tangible evidence of the severity of the injury and the necessary medical treatments.

Photographic evidence also plays an important role in documenting the appearance and progression of road rash injuries. Taking clear photos of the injuries shortly after the accident and throughout the healing process helps to establish the visual effect. Close-up shots can depict the abrasions, scarring, and any complications that may arise, providing a visual timeline for the insurance company or court.

Eyewitness testimonies further contribute to building a credible case. Statements from individuals who witnessed the bicycle accident can provide valuable perspectives on the events leading up to the collision, the actions of the parties involved, and the immediate aftermath of the crash. Eyewitness accounts can corroborate the injured cyclist’s version of events and strengthen the argument for the responsible party’s negligence.

Police reports are official documents that can also be crucial in proving a road rash injury. Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene generate reports detailing their observations, statements from involved parties, and any citations issued. These reports can serve as an unbiased account of the bicycle accident, documenting factors like weather conditions, traffic signals, and any violations that may have contributed to the occurrence.

Preserving physical evidence is also essential. Clothing worn during the accident, such as torn or damaged attire, can serve as tangible proof of the force and impact that the bicycle rider sustained. Retaining the bicycle itself for inspection can also be valuable, as damage to the bike may provide insights into the severity of the collision.

Witness statements, video footage, or photographs from surveillance cameras or nearby security cameras can further strengthen the injured cyclist’s case. These pieces of evidence may capture the accident as it happens, providing a clear visual representation of the circumstances leading to the road rash injury.

By methodically gathering and presenting this evidence, a cyclist can build a compelling case to establish the occurrence of a road rash injury in a bicycle accident. An experienced bike accident lawyer can navigate the complexities of presenting evidence in your case, increasing your chances of recovering favorable monetary damages for your injuries.

Pursuing a Settlement for a Road Rash Injury – and How a Lawyer Can Help

An experienced bicycle accident lawyer plays an essential role in pursuing compensation for road rash injuries sustained in a cycling accident. To begin this process, the lawyer thoroughly reviews the details of the case and gathers evidence to establish the responsible party’s negligence.

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The lawyer also collaborates with medical professionals to assess the extent of the road rash injuries. This collaboration ensures a thorough understanding of the injuries, potential long-term effects, and the associated past and anticipated medical costs. The goal is to accurately quantify the damages that the cyclist suffered due to someone else’s negligence.

Communication with insurance companies is another important aspect of pursuing favorable compensation for injuries. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will engage with the at-fault party’s insurance provider and present a well-documented case to support the cyclist’s claim. This involves detailing the medical treatments received, the effects on the cyclist’s daily life, and the expenses incurred for medical bills, rehabilitation, and any necessary future treatments.

Negotiation skills also come into play during discussions with the insurance company. The lawyer will advocate on behalf of the injured cyclist, aiming to secure a fair settlement offer that covers all of the cyclist’s damages. This negotiation process may involve presenting evidence, countering any disputes that the insurance carrier raises, and using legal experience to achieve the best possible result for the injured cyclist.

In cases where negotiations do not result in a satisfactory settlement offer, the bicycle accident lawyer may decide to pursue legal action through the state court system. Filing a lawsuit involves presenting the case before a judge and jury, with the lawyer diligently presenting the evidence, witness testimonies, and expert opinions to establish liability and quantify the damages that the cyclist suffered. The ultimate goal of litigation is to secure compensation that covers not only medical expenses but also factors in lost income, pain and suffering, and any potential long-term effects on the cyclist’s well-being and quality of life.

From evidence collection to negotiation – and, if necessary, court representation – your lawyer will serve as your advocate in pursuit of the fair compensation you deserve.

Possible Damages for Road Rash in a Bicycle Accident

A bicycle accident victim who suffers road rash injuries may be eligible for various monetary damages to address the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the occurrence.

Medical Expenses

One primary category of damages is medical expenses, covering the costs associated with immediate and ongoing healthcare needs. This encompasses hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any other necessary treatments related to road rash injuries.

Lost Income

Compensation for lost income is another crucial component. If the road rash injuries force the victim to miss work, they can seek damages for the income they would have earned during their recovery period. Future lost earning capacity may also be considered if the injuries result in a long-term effect on the victim’s ability to work or earn at their previous capacity.

Property Damage

Property damage is relevant when the bicycle sustains damage during the accident. Compensation may cover the repair or replacement costs for the damaged bicycle, as well as any other personal belongings affected.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, categorized as non-economic damages, addresses the physical and emotional distress that the victim experienced due to their road rash injuries. This includes compensation for the pain, anxiety, depression, and overall reduction in quality of life resulting from their accident.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium damages may apply in cases where road rash injuries affect the victim’s relationships. Spouses or family members may seek compensation for the loss of emotional support, care, and companionship resulting from these injuries.

Punitive Damages

In some instances, punitive damages may also be available to the injured cyclist. These damages do not reimburse the cyclist for losses, but instead punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious negligence or intentional misconduct.

Matt Boatman Attorney for Bicycle Accident

Matthew R. Boatman, Bicycle Accident Lawyer

To recover any of these above damages, the accident victim must present evidence supporting their claims. Medical records, receipts, employment documentation, and any other relevant information may help to establish the full extent of the damages they incurred.

Speak to an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today

If you recently suffered injuries in a bicycle collision, you need to have a skilled bicycle accident attorney on your side representing you at every stage of the legal proceedings. Your lawyer can aggressively fight for your interests during settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company or take the necessary steps to efficiently litigate your case in the state court system.