The lack of a protective barrier for a motorcyclist can result in very serious and disfiguring motorcycle accident injuries, especially if the rider isn’t wearing protective gear. These injuries may stem from road rash and other severe wounds.
While most injuries eventually heal with time, disfiguring ones can lead to permanent scarring and facial disfigurement. This can completely alter a motorcyclist’s life, preventing him or her from enjoying it to the fullest. It may also be associated with psychological damage.
Injuries That Can Cause Disfigurement in a Motorcycle Accident: Road Rash
When a motorcyclist is dragged along the ground by the bike or is thrown from it and skids across the pavement, it can tear at not only the rider’s clothes, but skin and tissue as well. Such injuries are called road rash.
The severity of the damage depends on the:
- speed at which the person was traveling;
- distance for which contact was made with the ground; and
- types of clothing the rider was wearing.
Higher speeds and longer distances are more likely to cause significant physical harm. Riders not wearing appropriate clothing and gear may experience greater exposure of their skin and tissue to the abrasive pavement or ground.
Road rash is similar to a burn in that it can affect just the outer layer of skin (first-degree), the layer underneath (second-degree) or the deepest layers and underlying tissue (third-degree). A third-degree road rash injury can expose muscle, tissue and bone. Skin grafts aid in healing, but may still leave behind visible scarring.
Disfiguring Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident: Facial Injuries
Motorcyclists who aren’t wearing a helmet may sustain severe facial disfigurement. Punctures, deep lacerations and nerve damage can be disfiguring. Cosmetic surgery may reduce the appearance of scars, but there can still be visible wounds that surgery is unable to conceal.
Motorcycle Accident Disfigurement: Amputation
Another type of disfigurement stems from the loss of an arm, leg or appendage. If the motorcyclist becomes pinned underneath the bike or is crushed by another vehicle during the accident, it could lead to a traumatic amputation. When the limb can’t be reattached, the rider may lose it and may require a prosthesis. Some injuries may require surgical amputation.
Compensation for Disfiguring Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Medical costs can be substantial for these types of injuries and oftentimes the individual has to:
- spend a lot of time in the hospital;
- undergo more than one surgery; and
- face long-term rehabilitation.
Some may suffer emotional injuries that necessitate treatment from a psychologist or counselor. These costs may be recoverable if someone else’s negligence caused the accident.
It’s not uncommon to miss a lot of time from the job. For some victims, it may not be possible to return to the same line of work. An example may be someone in construction who loses an arm or leg. Compensation for lost wages may be available to these people. Victims may recover compensation for future earnings they would have received had the accident not occurred, such as if forced them to take lower-paying jobs.
Damages may also address pain and suffering. This is certainly a form of compensation that someone disfigured as a result of the accident could seek. But there may also be damages strictly for disfigurement, as well.
Some may experience psychological damage in addition to the physical damage. Depression, anxiety and just the struggle to try and enjoy life when an injury results in permanent scarring are some examples. It’s best to consult with an attorney to fully understand your rights and the legal options that may be available. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates for legal assistance in such cases: 800-246-4878.