Aug 21, 2020

Dealing With the Lingering Effects of Biker Scars


Is There Hope And Treatment For Painful Motorcyclist And Bicyclist Scars?

Post laceration surgery
Picture of a close-up shot of a man's forearm laceration and cut area after his surgery.

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. One thing peddled powered bicyclists and motorcycle riders have in common is the risk of long terms 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, 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).

A bad scar is typically noticed by it raised, bumpy skin. Disfigurement from scars can become a permanent deformity even with proper medical treatment. Sadly, sometimes friction and road burns can take the skin all the way 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, in order to allow it to heal. During the healing process, the scab will get itchy, and the victim will be extremely uncomfortable. Sometimes this strange feeling stays with the victim for life. So along with many scabs, 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, both for the individual and their social life.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Biker Scars In Motorcyclists?

  1. Road rash - A common injury with riders occurs when the skin literally hits the pavement like a cheese grater with burning hot friction of sliding along the ground at high speeds, dragged across the hard pavement or rough, tarred roadway. Skin is literally pulled back, sometimes to the point of a deglove, often embedded with gravel and unsanitary surface road debris. Riders are at severe risk for road rash because bicycles and motorcycles don't afford a roll-cage or metal body with seatblets. In the case of a passenger car, the occupant remains in a cocoon. In the case of a bike, the rider usually goes flying and crashing into other objects, or hard surface. In minor cases, road rash removes only the top few layers of skin. So it may leave behind only some reddened skin that may bleed a little. But is bad cases, the damaged tissue remaining often becomes of a ball of painful nerves and hardened adhesions. No matter what, road rash is painful.
  2. Lacerations - Being pierced by handlebars, shards of shattered vehicle glass, barroom brawls, and more.
  3. Amputations - Imagine the stub where your hand was. That is usually a flap of skin that needs a constant massage to make the scars more pliable.
  4. Deglove - Usually a surgical flap is used here, and it's painful.
  5. Burn injuries - Motorcycle riders face a plethora of different burns. Click here to learn more about burn injuries.
    • Friction burns - Often part of the road rash experience, but sometimes skin can be burned through heavy, leather riding chaps and gloves, even though the road's surface never touches a limb's surface.
    • Gasoline Fires.
    • Sunburn.
  6. Crush injuries.
  7. Compound Fractures.

What Should Motorcyclists And Peddled Bikers Know About Biker Scars?

Many people don't understand how life altering the effects of road rash, or friction burns are, thinking they are fairly 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 during a crash, the rider is at risk for being embedded with flying or falling objects like broken glass. 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. Certainly 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 of pain killers. Being is constant pain from adhesions and scars will impacting every part of the riding victim’s life.

Common Personal Damage Related To Scars.

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.

  • Nerve damage. In some cases the wound penetrates deeply and causes causes nerve damage to the scarred area. Neurological damage like this could cause too little or too much sensation at the area impacted.
  • Damage to tendons, joints and muscles. In many serious and gory burn injury cases, compound fractures, lacerations and road rash claims the wound can be deep enough to expose joints, muscles and tendons. Sometimes the pain and swelling, along with all the debris embedded in the wound can create an increased risk of bad infection.

What Are Some Steps To Take To Fight Infections And Heal Scars?

Even with immediate medical evacuation after a bad motorcycle or bike crash, riders risk permanent deformities to the scared area.

How To Treat And Heal Scars.

Many outdoorsmen like joggers, and bicyclists have dealt with minor scrapes by treating them at home themselves.

How To Clean A Friction Burn, Or Road Rash:

  1. Clean the wound with bacitracin.
  2. Keep the area dry, and let it to heal, which typically happens in a few weeks.

Warning - Severe Road Wounds Require Emergency Room Treatments.

In the case of more severe burn cases, or in 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 upon riding on the public streets. Sometimes you will need follow-up treatments and pain meds while the scars begin to heal up. At the emergency room, the nursing staff and assistants 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 by 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.

  • Surgical Intervention.

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, catheter hoses may be added into the wound to help the victim drain any infection or fluid buildup caused by any remaining objects in the affected bodypart. 

During the patient’s recovery, doctors may need to view the wound regularly to see how the healing is progressing.

Some victims of road rash 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 limitations posed by that scarring.

  • Plastique Surgery.

Sometimes people with facial scars, or whole sections of their body unable to perspire will require emergency or elective surgery to try and restore normal human looks and functions like sweating. Scar victims may be looking at multiple surgeries over a period of many years, in particular when dealing with facial reconstructive surgery. 

Impediments To Healing?

Stay out of the sun when you have scars. At least over the affected area, because exposure to UV radiation, which is what sunlight is made up of, can increase permanent scarring. Also, follow your doctors 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 special drugs and a stretching regimen to stay pliable and elastic while you heal.

Some Tip At Preventing Scar Injuries While Riding.

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 type of 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.

  • Consider investing in some riding protective gear.

Wearing typical athletic pants or clothes does not help that much in reducing the 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 gear remains the best and last form of skin protection you will have while riding.

  • Motorcycle riders should always wear a full-face helmet. Most motorcycle riders know that a DOT approved, full-face helmet offers more protection from facial injuries and possible scarring down the road. 
  • Most bike riders may prefer not to wear heavier, full-faced helmets due to slower speeds and less wind present to cool their face and head.
  • Avoid riding on slick, oily surfaces. Slick pavement from a fresh rain, or from leaked oil can raise the odds that your tires will slide out from under you, causing you to lay over a motorcycle or bicycle and ultimately leading to road rash.
  • Avoid riding in bad weather. In bad weather, accident risks are always at an increase.

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 are just as bad if not worse in terms of time, devotion and money as 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 you must act swiftly.

Also, scar injuries can be the most painful of all. Because of this, you should must obtain medical attention immediately and get your lawyer documentation of how, when and where your injuries took place. A smart client will also attempt to get picture 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 that individuals carry these incredible scars is because 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.

Don't Go It Alone.

If the scarring is affecting you-- whether emotionally or causing issues with employment, 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.

Take a look at some of the other articles on our site. After all, it's smart to learn about 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 all of California for all types of negligence claims.