Severe Lacerations, Bruising and Cuts During Motorcycle Accident
Scrapes, bruising, cuts and lacerations tend to be downplayed following a motorcycle accident (i.e., “It was only some scrapes and bruises”). However, many motorcyclists know all too well these injuries can be severe. Not only are such wounds painful in their own right, they can result in serious infection if not promptly treated and cleaned. There is also risk of damage to tendons or nerves. In some cases, these injuries are associated with a condition called compartment syndrome, which can lead to amputation. Finally, there is the risk of severe scarring that can lead to emotional distress and mental anguish.
The limited amount of physical protection afforded a motorcyclist or passenger (compared to someone inside a passenger car or truck) means there is almost certainly going to be some level of injury in a motorcycle accident. Lacerations and bruises are among the most common motorcycle injuries, but they are also likely to be brushed off or ignored. Prompt, effective treatment is critical to reducing the potential for lasting damage.
The terms “cut” and “laceration” are often used interchangeably, but there is a technical difference, according to physicians writing for WebMD.
It breaks down like this:
- Cut – Refers to a skin wound wherein there is separation of connective tissue. None of the skin is missing (unlike in a friction burn or abrasion), but rather it is separated. Most often, we’ll see cuts when there is contact with a sharp object, such as shards of glass.
- Laceration – Refers to a skin wound that is jagged or torn. These too are the result of contact with sharp objects.
- Gash – This is a term used to describe a cut that is deeper or longer than more common wounds (such as one might suffer in a kitchen accident). Gashes are often seen in motorcycle accident victims.
- Avulsion – This describes a wound where the tissue is not merely separated but torn away from the body. This is sometimes suffered by motorcycle accident victims who have been affected by severe road rash, and it can result in permanent scarring.
If the other motorist (or the operator of a motorcycle on which you were a passenger) was at-fault, you may have grounds to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries. 211 CMR 74.00 outlines circumstances under which a vehicle operator may be presumed at-fault, though viable claim scenarios aren’t limited to these situations.Where Do Motorcyclists Suffer Cuts and Lacerations?
Cuts and lacerations commonly affect motorcyclists on the areas of the face, arms, hands and torso – especially if they aren’t wearing protective gear. However, it’s not unheard of to suffer lower extremity cuts and lacerations.
In one study by the NHTSA, researchers found bone fractures were more common in motorcycle accidents than soft tissue injuries (i.e., cuts and lacerations), but lacerations were sometimes associated with longer hospital stays.
Some of the causes of lacerations and cuts in motorcycle accidents include:
- Blunt force trauma as a result of striking the ground or another object;
- Being dragged along the ground;
- Compound fractures (create lacerations when the bone breaks through the skin);
- Foreign object pierces the skin (i.e., glass, metal, plastic, rocks, etc.);
- Contact with other debris at the accident site.
If you have suffered one of these injuries, it’s imperative you seek immediate medical attention and consider contacting an injury lawyer as soon as you’re able, so that we can help you explore your legal options for financial recovery.Lacerations and Cuts are Serious Injuries
In a motorcycle, there is plastic, glass and metal surrounding the rider. The skin is easily punctured, particularly when one isn’t protected by a seatbelt and there is nothing to keep a rider or passenger from debris or the pavement.
Too often, there is a tendency (especially for defendants in Boston motorcycle accident cases) to brush off such injuries as not being all that serious. “Only a few cuts and scrapes,” they may argue. The truth of the matter is such injuries may result in long-lasting damage.
These cuts can be debilitating in and of themselves, sometimes damaging the underlying tissue, including the muscle, tendons, nerves or bones.
If lacerations and cuts aren’t cleaned and treated quickly, they can result in infection, which can lead to sepsis (a blood infection) or other serious complications, including amputation. Medical errors can also exacerbate motorcycle injuries.
The first order of business for most doctors is to stop the bleeding. Rapid blood loss in a motorcycle accident can be fatal, especially for women, who tend to have a less blood volume. One may also be at higher risk if they are taking blood thinners. If medics or doctors can treat the victim promptly, they will start by applying pressure to the wounds and then bandaging or stitching the affected area. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
They will also carefully clean the affected area with antiseptic to avoid the risk of infection. Antibiotics may be required.
If they leave permanent scars, lacerations can directly impact one’s quality of life – particularly if they can be seen. Some who suffer cuts and lacerations need to undergo cosmetic surgery or laser surgery to reduce scarring and unsightly appearance.
If one is left without movement or feeling, microsurgery may be able to help address those issues. An operation may also be needed to repair tissue, tendons or ligaments.
If there are deep gashes or areas where skin is missing, doctors may decide they need to conduct a skin graft.
These injuries can take months or even years to recover from, and some wounds may never heal completely. All this must be weighed by your Boston motorcycle accident attorney in ascertaining the amount of damages you will seek from defendants in these cases.
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