Road Rash Degrees in Motorcycle Accidents

Road Rash Degrees in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can cause life-threatening injuries. Road rash is one of the serious injuries that motorcycle riders can experience in road accidents. It occurs when the skin gets scraped after friction on a rough surface like asphalt. The friction with the road surface rips, burns, and wears off the skin layers, exposing the nerve endings and blood vessels, which embeds dirt and grime into the wound.

If you or a loved one have suffered road rash injuries, consider contacting the skilled California motorcycle accident lawyers at LA Century Law for help.

Degrees of Road Rash Injuries

Road rash injuries vary by degree based on the burns incurred. The three types of road rash degrees are first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree injuries.

First-degree road rash

A first-degree road rash injury is minor and is classified by tender red skin. It occurs due to the accident friction wearing away the outer skin layer. The victim may suffer minor injuries like bruises, slight bleeding, and small abrasions, with minimal chances of permanent scarring. While this injury is minor, the victim may experience pain and discomfort. This injury may be treated at home by cleaning the affected area and applying ointment.

Second-degree road rash

A second-degree road rash occurs when the lower skin layers suffer damage. During the accident, the debris, dirt, and pieces of glass break the skin and may get lodged in the wound. The victim may experience swollen skin, bleeding, and more pain than a first-degree road rash. This injury requires careful attention when dressing the wound. Scarring is common, but careful attention may prevent scarring of the skin. Victims of second-degree rash need to seek medical attention immediately and keep the wounds clean to avoid infection.

Third-degree road rash

Third-degree road rash is the most severe, painful, and potentially life-threatening injury. In this injury, the victim loses a significant portion of their skin, resulting in a complete abrasion of all five skin layers. The victim may suffer bone damage, nerve damage, extreme pain, and muscle damage. Other symptoms include deep wounds, shiny or milky skin appearance, swelling, and bleeding. The injuries require medical attention right away to minimize the chances of infection. There may also be a need for surgery.

Complications of Road Rash Injuries

Severe road rash injury can cause long-term complications that may require medical intervention from a specialist. Here are the health complications a victim may experience after a motorcycle accident.

  • Large, discolored scars: A foreign object lodged in the wound may sometimes fail to come out. This means the wound heals over it, causing what’s called “traumatic tattooing.” This tattoo can leave discoloration around the wounded area. The scars can cause emotional trauma to the victim depending on their location on the body.
  • Infection: When dirt, debris, and grim penetrate the wound, there will be a high chance of bacterial infection in the body. The infection can be dangerous, leading to life-threatening conditions. The infection risk remains high even after doctors remove the debris and recommend antibiotics.
  • Limited movement: A road rash victim may experience a limited range of motion in the affected body part. For instance, it can be challenging to bend properly, like before the accident. The skin tissues may also not be able to stretch well.

Road Rash Treatments and How to Take Care of Wounds

Some road rash injuries heal after a few weeks if the victim gets timely medical attention and good care of the wounds. The treatment depends on the road rash degree. First-degree injuries may not require professional medical attention. The victim can handle the situation at home with antiseptic cream.

For more severe cases of road rash, a medical professional must care for the wounds to offer the best chance for quick and effective recovery. They can monitor for infection and help avoid further complications.

Understanding different road rash degrees is important to help you understand the recovery that may be ahead. When you seek medical attention immediately following a motorcycle accident, your doctor can examine your injuries and advise you on the best possible treatment option.

Compensation for Road Rash Injuries

Some road rash injuries occur accidentally; when you or a loved one sustains road rash from a wrongful decision by one or more parties, it’s your right to seek compensation from them.

Here are the potential damages you may recover following the injuries you incurred in the accident.

  • All medical expenses related to treating your injuries. This may include therapy costs, doctor visits, medical equipment, hospitalization, and emergency care.
  • Lost income due to the inability to work in your condition. It also includes any form of disability that limits your ability to work in the future.
  • Pain and suffering may diminish your quality of life, leading to emotional suffering due to the scars you incurred from the accident.

Recovering damages for road rash injuries can be challenging and time-consuming if you lack legal expertise. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help you.

Consult a Road Rash Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at LA Century Law

The consequences that may arise after a road rash following a motorcycle accident can leave you financially, physically, and emotionally drained for a long time. You’d want to do everything possible to recover maximum compensation for your damages.

If you or a loved one suffered road rash injuries, LA Century Law can help. Contact us for a free consultation.

Motorcycle Road Rash Injury FAQs

When should I contact a motorcycle injury attorney?

If you incurred severe injuries, consider contacting an attorney to guide and advise you on the appropriate steps. This can help you avoid making mistakes that may compromise your case.

How much will I receive as compensation for road rash injuries?

Compensation amount depends on various elements such as road rash degree, the insurance company, and the lawyer you hire for the job.

How long will it take for my case to settle?

Many factors determine when your road rash injury case will settle. This may include the severity of your injuries, your attorney, the expected compensation, and whether your case goes to trial.

Who Is Responsible In A No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents are increasingly becoming common in California. Although many of these accidents involve a collision with other motor vehicles, sometimes the accidents can occur even when there is no collision between the two. In simpler terms, a no-contact motorcycle accident is deemed to have occurred when no actual collision happens between the other vehicle and the motorcycle in an accident.

One of the many questions that most victims of no-contact motorcycle injury grapple with is whether they can pursue compensation for such injuries, and whether the at-fault party can be held responsible for the injury. Fortunately, an experienced attorney at LA Century Law has the right skills to handle such a claim and ensure you obtain the amount of compensation you deserve.

Here’s what you need to know about no-contact motorcycle accidents in California and how you can obtain compensation for your injuries.

What Causes No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in California?

No-contact motorcycle accidents may occur due to multiple reasons. However, one of the common causes of no-contact accidents is when a vehicle ahead of a motorcycle switches lanes without using its turn signals, which prompts the motorcyclist behind to swerve in order to avoid a collision. 

Another cause of no-contact accidents occurs when a vehicle in front of a motorcycle suddenly stops, surprising the motorcycle behind and giving them little time to stop normally. As such, the swerving motorcycle rider ends up injured despite there being no collision with the other vehicle.

Common Injuries Sustained in No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

A no-contact accident can lead to serious injuries. Some of the common injuries that a rider may sustain following such an accident include:

  • Paralysis
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Head, neck and spine injuries
  • Amputation
  • Traumatic brain injury

Who is Liable in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California?

The phantom driver is legally responsible for a no-contact motorcycle accident in California, whether or not they realize they caused an accident. For example, the phantom driver may have been distracted and drove off without noticing the accident. Regardless, a claim for compensation should be brought against them following an accident that leads to a serious injury.

For this reason, the motorcycle rider must notify the phantom driver immediately after the incident occurs. The rider can talk to eyewitnesses and try to obtain a description of the vehicle.

Identifying the phantom driver and holding the at-fault driver responsible are key steps to ensuring that you obtain compensation. 

How Is Liability Proven in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California?

In order to obtain compensation, you need to demonstrate that the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for the accident. This could be challenging, especially if there is no direct contact between the vehicle and the motorcycle. However, a competent and qualified attorney at LA Century Law can help you establish liability in such a claim.

To prove liability, your attorney will first need to prove negligence. Negligence is established when it is demonstrated that the driver failed to act in a manner consistent with what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. For instance, if the driver swerved in front of your motorcycle while switching lanes and failed to use turn signals, you may be able to prove that they were negligent. 

However, to establish negligence fully, you will need to prove that:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care
  • The driver breached the duty
  • The driver’s actions was a substantial factor in causing the accident
  • You suffered or sustained an injury

That said, key witnesses and evidence such as police reports are important when establishing liability. As such, you will need all the help from an attorney who will gather sufficient evidence and apply the law, potentially establishing that the driver was negligent and thus liable for the accident. 

How Do Insurance Companies Handle No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in California?

Insurance companies tend to be involved in almost all claims involving automobile accidents. Unfortunately, their involvement doesn’t guarantee you a positive outcome. 

Remember the insurance company sets out to safeguard their interests in claims. To achieve this, they will look for loopholes in your claim that ensure that the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive is lowered significantly, and in extreme cases, they may dispute your claim.

Motorcycle bias is one of the primary concerns when dealing with insurance companies. There is some debate whether insurance companies are prejudiced towards motorcycle riders who are pursuing a claim. This motorcycle bias may affect their rights and interests in the claim process. 

For this reason, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney by your side who will safeguard your rights and interests throughout the claim process. 

Recovering Damages in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California

Following a no-contact accident in California, it is within your right to file a claim for compensation. However, you should speak to an attorney who will help file the claim on your behalf. However, if an amicable settlement isn’t arrived at, you can proceed to file a lawsuit in order to receive adequate compensation for your injuries.

In the event of a successful claim or suit, you be entitled to the following compensation:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost of time and work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Future projected medical costs

Injured in a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident in California? Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or your loved one sustained an injury in a no-contact motorcycle accident in California, you might be entitled to receive compensation. However, to achieve this, you need to establish the at-fault party and hold them responsible. An attorney at LA Century Law has experience handling such claims in California and will work hard to protect your rights and interests throughout the claim process.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California

California has universal helmet laws. That means all riders must wear helmets all the time. 

Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle helmet laws in California.

What is the California motorcycle helmet law?

California Vehicle Code § 27803 prohibits operating or riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. All operators and passengers must wear approved helmets. This does not mean that if you are involved in an accident and are not wearing a helmet that you cannot make a claim. You are still entitled to compensation if you have been harmed by another driver’s reckless or careless driving.

Is California a universal helmet law state?

Yes. California is a universal helmet state. All drivers are required to wear a helmet regardless of their age or experience as a rider. 

The opposite of a universal helmet state is a partial helmet law state, where only young or inexperienced riders must wear a helmet.

What helmets are required for California motorcyclists?

Motorcycle helmets in California must meet U.S. safety standards. This generally means the following:

  • A thick inner liner made of approved foam
  • Riveted chin straps that are attached to the shell of the helmet
  • Minimum weight
  • Nothing protruding more than .2 inches from the shell of the helmet


The courts have upheld the authority of the highway patrol to determine which helmets are approved under § 27802. Biano v. California Highway Patrol, 24 Cal.App.4th 116 (1994). 

In Taggart v. Super Seer Corp., 33 Cal.App.4th (1995), the parties litigated damages where the victim’s helmet contained a foam lining that was not approved and, as a result, likely less protective.

Can you wear a motorcycle helmet on another part of your body?

You may have thought of a fun and easy way to get around California’s motorcycle helmet laws. You’ll wear the helmet – on your back, your shoulder, or your hand. But lawmakers already thought of that! They put it in the law that you must wear a helmet on your head. Chin straps must be attached, and the helmet must be secure enough not to allow too much movement of the head. (§ 27803(e).)

What’s the penalty for failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California?

You may receive a ticket for failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California. There are no points assessed to the driver’s license.

If you receive a citation and do not address it, you may be cited for failing to appear in court.

What are the defenses to failing to wear a motorcycle helmet?

Defenses to allegations of failing to wear a motorcycle helmet are:

  • The driver wasn’t operating or riding a motorcycle
  • An emergency prevented the person from wearing a helmet
  • The helmet met safety standards when law enforcement thought it did not
  • Law enforcement was mistaken; the person was wearing a helmet

What is the purpose of the motorcycle helmet law in California?

The California motorcycle helmet law aims to provide all motorcyclists with an additional safety benefit. (§ 27803(g).)

Helmets in Motorcycle Accidents in California

Can you get compensation if you’re not wearing a helmet in a California motorcycle accident?

What happens when a rider isn’t wearing a helmet and they’re in an accident? Can they get compensation? Do they get less compensation?

In California, a motorcycle accident victim can still receive compensation if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The amount that they receive may be reduced.

As of this writing, there has yet to be a legal case in California that clearly outlines how to handle accident claims where a motorcyclist victim wasn’t wearing a helmet. However, we still have a pretty good idea of how these cases will be handled by the court and what the victim can expect.

First, the victim may still receive some compensation. California is a pure comparative fault state. A victim is never completely barred from receiving compensation, even if they are 99% at fault. The victim may still bring a claim and expect to recover for damages to the extent that the other party is at fault.

Second, the victim’s compensation is likely to be reduced for not wearing a helmet. Failing to wear a helmet is likely to be seen as either acting negligently or failing to take measures that would have reduced the severity of injuries. How the courts handle failing to wear a seatbelt can give us some insight – failing to wear a seat belt is not automatically negligence (negligence per se), but the court may give the jury an instruction that they may consider whether damages could have been avoided or less severe if the victim had used the seat belt. The court may present the seat belt law to the jury.

It’s likely that the courts will handle failing to wear a motorcycle helmet similarly. It will be taken into account to reduce compensation, but it will not completely bar a claim. An important task in your claim is gathering the medical evidence to explain how the helmet may have – or may not have – prevented the injuries you sustained.

In a case where the injuries have nothing to do with helmet use, like a broken arm, it’s unlikely that failing to wear a helmet will reduce damages. The purpose of reducing compensation is to fairly apportion fault – not to punish the victim for failing to comply with the helmet law.

If the motorcyclist is at fault for the crash, failing to wear a helmet shouldn’t change the amount they pay in damages. It’s unlikely that the victim suffered more serious injuries because the motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet. The legal liability of the motorcyclist in an at-fault accident shouldn’t change based on their failure to wear a helmet. 

Lawyers for Accidents Involving Motorcycles

California passed its motorcycle helmet law in 1992. Despite legal challenges, the law has been upheld as a valid exercise of police power.

If you have been in an accident, our motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help you. Whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you may receive financial compensation.

Get help now with your motorcycle accident case. LA Century Law attorneys are committed to your recovery. Call or send us a message to begin with a free consultation.

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