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For many bikers, scars are a matter of pride. Even extensive scarring is a rite of passage to show how riders came to maturity. For others, these scars are a joyful reminder of a life well spent with friends, family, and others. Peddled-powered bicyclists and motorcycle riders have in common the risk of long-term scars after being in a vehicular collision. I am Michael Ehline. I am a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. Below my staff and I will talk about adhesions and scars common to cyclists and how to prevent, treat and pay for the medical costs associated with these disfiguring conditions.
A scar is medically defined as a:
“a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.” (Source).
Its raised, bumpy skin typically notices a nasty scar. Disfigurement from scars can become a permanent deformity even with proper medical treatment. Sadly, friction and road burns can sometimes take the skin to the bone.
A scab will usually try and form soon. A scab is usually an incrustation of calloused skin formed around the damaged tissue or wounded area to allow it to heal. The scab will get itchy during the healing process, and the victim will be highly uncomfortable. Sometimes this strange feeling stays with the victim for life. So along with many scabs, it can also come permanent and painful scars.
Each scar has a story, and many times, it is coupled with post-traumatic stress syndrome anchored with bad memories of a terrible motorcycle or bicycle accident. Each one represents a memory. Most of all, these are some of the bonds with the open road. And with these connections comes the understanding that every skill takes time.
And sometimes, this quest for physical and spiritual growth can cause physical and emotional pain. Additionally, each person feels differently about their scars. These can be looked upon as badges of honor or have many other not-so-friendly implications for the individual and their social life.
Many people don’t understand how life-altering the effects of road rash or friction burns are, thinking they are pretty moderate injuries such as a child would endure on their knee or hand palm after tripping and falling while playing outside. But truth be told, sometimes more than just a few layers of skin are stripped away in a collision.
As noted above, when a motorcycle rider or bicyclist is in a car accident, the lingering effects of such a crash can create severe road rash, terrible gas and fire burns, cuts, piercings, and lacerations that could lead to long-term scars, and a lifetime emotional and physical pain.
Remember that the rider is at risk of being embedded with flying or falling objects like broken glass during a crash. So don’t just think road rash is the pain problem when it comes to scars. Living in chronic pain is something no rider wants. Indeed, their spouses, children, friends, and family don’t want to spend the rest of their lives with someone who is always grumpy and living off painkillers. Being in constant pain from adhesions and scars will impact every part of the riding victim’s life.
No matter how the scar occurred, joint immobility, lack of pain, or too much pain, can all be part of the deal. Below we have created a list of scar-related residuals.
Even with immediate medical evacuation after a lousy motorcycle or bike crash, riders risk permanent deformities to the scared area.
Many outdoors people, like joggers and bicyclists, have dealt with minor scrapes by treating them at home themselves.
How To Clean A Friction Burn Or Road Rash:
Keep the area dry, and let it heal, which typically happens in a few weeks.
In more severe burn cases or cases of road rash, expensive emergency care may be required. And this is another reason why you should already have a motorcycle accident lawyer on retainer at all times if you intend to ride on the public streets. Sometimes you will need follow-up treatments and pain meds while the scars begin to heal up. The nursing staff and assistants at the emergency room will attempt to remove any foreign matter, such as dirt and gravel, from the bloodied area.
Sometimes in bad burns and road rash cases, foreign matter like dirt, grit, gravel, and rocks is cleared away with liquid iodine brushes and flushing the wound area with sterile irrigation fluid. Typically, once the doctor evaluates and diagnoses the wound’s severity, a clean, sterile bandage is placed over the wound. Often, ointments with antibiotics are prescribed to rub over the wound to reduce the infection risk. As scars begin to form, many doctors recommend Vitamin E for ingesting and using externally to make scars heal in a more pliable fashion.
In bad burns or deep, penetrating wound cases, severe scars may require immediate surgical intervention so the victim can hopefully make a full recovery. Surgery doctors may remove embedded objects, repair abraded muscles, repair ligaments, and tendons, and even sew on skin flaps, graphs, and folds to create new skin in bad burn cases. Also, doctors can add catheter hoses to the wound, helping the victim drain infection or fluid buildup caused by any remaining objects in the affected body part.
During the patient’s recovery, doctors may need to view the wound regularly to see how the healing progresses.
Some road rash victims may require physical therapy to learn how to cope with limitations caused by tightened skin and scarring. In some cases, road rash may impact mobility around joints. The patient may need to work hard to restore as much mobility as possible and learn to live within any scarring limitations.
Sometimes, people with facial scars or whole sections of their bodies unable to perspire will require emergency or elective surgery to restore average human looks and functions like sweating. Scar victims may be looking at multiple surgeries over many years, mainly when dealing with facial reconstructive surgery.
Stay out of the sun when you have scars. At least over the affected area, exposure to UV radiation, which is what sunlight is made up of, can increase permanent scarring. Also, follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking vitamins and prescription creams. Since scars are known to decrease flexibility and make people less mobile, you may need certain drugs and a stretching regimen to stay pliable and elastic while you heal.
In a motorcycle or bicycle v. car accident, riders will have little time to react. So there is a good chance they will end up with some scar. Always wear protective riding gear while navigating the busy streets of Los Angeles. Cover your feet, toes, arms, legs, and face, even in warmer temperatures.
Wearing typical athletic pants or clothes does not help reduce the odds of road rash, lacerations, or burns. But protective gear can give your body some armor that can resist tearing or ripping longer than street garb. Protective equipment remains the best and final form of skin protection you will have while riding.
Who Can Help Me Get Compensation For My Riding Scars?
Attorneys who specialize in motorcycle collisions are the people you call when you need legal and medical help. Treating scar injuries is just as bad, if not worse, in terms of time, devotion, and money dealing with a brain injury or fractures. If you suffered scars from a bad accident, you deserve compensation for your damages. And If you delay too long getting help, you can blow the statute of limitations, forfeiting your right to money damages. So it would help if you acted swiftly.
Also, scar injuries can be the most painful of all. Because of this, you should obtain medical attention immediately and get your lawyer documentation of how, when, and where your injuries took place. An intelligent client will also attempt to get pictures of the accident scene and the defendant’s information. Hiring a lawyer will help you find a way to pay the hospital back for the emergency room bills, the ambulance, and any ongoing treatments like physical therapy.
One of the most significant reasons individuals carry these great scars is that they did not seek proper medical care. A medical professional can treat such scarring, even well after the fact. It’s reaching out that is important.
A law firm specializing in motorcycle accidents and injuries, such as the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, is a biker’s best friend. We understand the critical issues affecting bikers in the aftermath of such a crash. Our lead attorney, Michael Ehline, is an experienced biker himself. With our help, a biker can receive proper medical treatment and a means to pay for it.
If the scarring is affecting you– whether emotionally or causing employment issues, we are there to help. Ehline Law’s experience in Southern California makes sure that motorcyclists are given the time and, most importantly, the respect they deserve. We will go after money for bills like lost contracts and wages and your pain and suffering while you heal up.
Please take a look at some of the other articles on our site. After all, it’s wise to learn how to stay safe on the road. And feel free to reach out to us if needed. Most of all, Ehline Law is there for you when you need us. And we mean every word that we say and stand up for bikers every day. Our team is ready, willing, and able. So let us know how we can work together. Call us now at (213) 596-9642.
We also serve motorcycle victims in the Southern California towns of Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Marina del Rey. We also serve the Greater Los Angeles Inland Empire and Orange County areas and California for all types of negligence claims.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.