Road rash is the skin abrasion that you suffer when you get into a motorcycle accident and your exposed skin rubs across the pavement. It happens after you get ejected from your bike or when you lay the bike down on purpose to avoid a crash. It's the reason that many bikers wear leather, which is tough and slides nicely on pavement -- but even the best gear can't always prevent road rash.
When it happens, it's incredibly painful. It can take a long time to heal. It can lead to permanent scarring. And that's not even the worst of it. In some cases, the road rash gets infected. Signs that it may be infected include:
- Draining fluid
- A foul smell
- Pain that increases after the incident
- Increased redness
- Aches, chills, fever and other flu-like symptoms
Some of these are a bit harder to deduce than others. You'll know if you have flu-like symptoms, but will you really be sure that it hurts more the first day than the day before? If swelling and redness are present, is that really an infection or just your body's natural reaction to the injury?
You need to keep a close eye on it. When road rash gets infected, you could wind up in the hospital again, and you may need more extensive treatment than first assumed. At the first sign of an infection, talk to your doctor and get their professional opinion.
For all motorcycle injuries, if the crash itself was caused by someone else's negligence, you need to know if you have a right to compensation.