Road rash is a painful, potentially dangerous wound often caused by motorcycle accidents. It results from friction between an accident victim’s body and a road surface. Victims of severe road rash frequently endure intense pain, need extensive medical treatment, and carry scars from their injuries for the rest of their lives.
If you or someone close to you got road rash in a Bronx-area traffic accident, you might have the right to seek compensation from the party at fault or an insurance company. Here’s an overview of what happens after you get road rash in the Bronx and how a Bronx auto accident lawyer can handle the process of obtaining money to help you pay your bills and rebound from your trauma.
What Is Road Rash?
The term road rash might invoke memories of skinning your knee after falling off your bike as a child. But as traumatic injuries go, severe road rash is a far cry from the minor scrapes and bruises of childhood. It’s a serious, potentially life-threatening injury that can inflict extreme pain, cause medical complications, and cost you lots of money.
Road rash happens when friction with a road surface tears away layers of a person’s skin. Although physical forces cause road rash, doctors often approach it as a type of burn injury, sometimes referring to it as a friction burn. That’s because it resembles a severe burn caused by extreme heat, destroying a person’s outer skin layers and exposing lower layers, fat, soft tissue, or even bone and muscle.
Like a burn, road rash treatment may require extensive skin graft procedures, long hospital stays and heightened care to prevent catastrophic infection (a particular danger because dirt and debris from the road surface become embedded in the wound). And, like a burn, road rash may deprive a victim of bodily functions like eyesight or using a limb or appendage. It also frequently leaves behind disfiguring scar tissue when it heals.
Common Causes of Road Rash in the Bronx
Motorcycle accidents are the most common cause of road rash in the Bronx. After a wreck or collision, a biker’s body slides along the road surface. The friction opens up a road rash wound that becomes increasingly severe the longer the slide and the rougher the road surface. Wearing protective gear like leather, body armor, and a helmet can substantially reduce the risk of a severe road rash injury but might not eliminate it.
Bicycle accidents in the Bronx can also cause severe road rash. Although bikes usually travel slower than motorcycles, they still go fast enough to send a rider sliding down the road, bike path, or sidewalk after a crash. And unlike motorcyclists, Bronx-area bicyclists rarely wear clothing that protects their skin, making road rash injuries highly likely when a rider crashes at speed or gets hit by a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian accidents in the Bronx may also result in road rash for the injured victim. A collision with a motor vehicle at a dangerous Bronx intersection, like Broadway and 238th Street, for example, can send a pedestrian sprawling on the road surface and inflict severe road rash injuries.
You Connect With a Lawyer
A lawyer’s job is to take care of every step required to get you the money you deserve. But first, you’ll need to take the essential step of contacting a lawyer who can handle your claim.
The right lawyer for your Bronx road rash injury case will be one who:
- Offers a free case evaluation to injured accident victims like you.
- Regularly represents Bronx-area clients in traffic accident cases like yours.
- Has an established track record of getting results for injured accident victims through settlements and courtroom victories.
- Has earned the trust and respect of former clients and fellow lawyers.
- Offers you 24/7 access to your case file so that you can always stay up to date.
The sooner you connect with an experienced lawyer for a free case evaluation, the better your odds of getting the maximum monetary damages available for your injuries and the lower the risk of missing a critical case deadline. You don’t need to wait until your wounds heal. The right law firm for you will meet with you at your convenience, even if it means coming to your home or hospital room or arranging a virtual meeting.
And don’t worry about how you’ll pay for a lawyer. Bronx road rash injury lawyers represent their clients on a contingent fee basis. That means they don’t charge money upfront or as a case proceeds. They only earn a fee if they win for you.
The Lawyer Learns About the Accident and Your Damages
After being hired, a lawyer can begin looking into your Bronx road rash accident to determine who should have legal and financial liability for your losses.
A lawyer might, for example:
- Interact with police or other official investigators to learn what they know
- Visit the accident scene
- Speak with witnesses
- Examine damaged vehicles
- Collect evidence other investigators might have overlooked
- Hire a forensic expert to assist in reaching conclusions about what happened
In addition to learning about the accident, the lawyer can also explore how you’ve been harmed by your road rash accident. You may have the right to request payment for various economic and non-economic damages. A lawyer often wants to understand them in detail to ensure you claim the maximum compensation possible.
The compensable damages a lawyer might want to learn about can include, for example:
- Your medical expenses related to treating road rash and any health complications it causes.
- Other non-medical costs of healing from, adapting to, or living with your injury.
- Your lost earnings and job benefits from missing work after getting hurt.
- Your future lost earning potential, if your road rash leads to a long-term disability.
- Your physical pain and emotional distress.
- Any inconvenience or loss of independence due to your road rash injury.
- Scarring and disfigurement from your road rash.
- Other ways your injury has negatively impacted your life.
The lawyer begins formulating a case against the party at fault and any available insurance policies by digging into the facts about the accident and your damages. In doing so, the lawyer always aims to protect your interests and maximize your potential payment.
The Lawyer Makes a Claim for Money Damages on Your Behalf
Having gathered evidence and learned about your injuries, the lawyer can prepare a claim on your behalf seeking monetary damages from at-fault parties or their insurance carriers. The lawyer may then make that claim in the manner the lawyer deems most likely to get you the best result possible.
The lawyer may, for example:
- Send an informal letter to the at-fault party or their lawyer demanding immediate payment of your damages.
- Submit a formal claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company (or, in some cases, your insurer) seeking payment of your damages under the terms of an insurance policy that covers your losses.
- Prepare and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurer in Bronx County court seeking monetary damages for your losses.
The path the lawyer recommends for your case will often depend on the lawyer’s assessment of your legal rights and personal priorities. The lawyer might want to pursue just one of the options above or several, and might suggest doing them one at a time or simultaneously. Every case differs. But the goal is always to achieve maximum compensation for you quickly and efficiently while protecting your rights and interests.
Litigation and Negotiation of Your Claim Happens
The party from whom your lawyer seeks compensation on your behalf will usually respond to the claim within a few weeks, if not sooner. And from there, your claim will typically enter a phase of litigation (legal procedures aimed toward resolving your claim in court) and negotiation (discussions between lawyers and insurance representatives aimed at resolving your claim out of court).
Litigation and negotiation frequently happen simultaneously, with each party using court procedures to gain information or leverage they might use to negotiate with the other side.
This phase of a claim can take as little as a month or two, or it can take at least a year or more. While your lawyer works to advance your interests and press your claim for full payment, the at-fault party, their lawyers, and their insurance representatives may try to build a case for paying you less than you’ve asked for or nothing at all.
Although their resistance to your claim can feel frustrating, it’s normal and to be expected. With the right lawyer in your corner, you can trust that you’ve put your best foot forward and made the strongest possible case for damages, no matter how the other side tries to avoid responsibility.
Your Claim Gets Resolved Through Settlement or by a Court
Every Bronx road rash injury claim eventually resolves. The most common outcome of a claim is a settlement, an agreement between the parties to resolve a claim. In the typical road rash accident settlement, the injured party receives money from the at-fault party or an insurance company. In return, releases those parties from further liability for damages.
A settlement brings a claim to a final, definitive end, so your lawyer aims to negotiate to get you the best possible deal. But the decision to accept or reject a settlement is always yours. A lawyer cannot agree to settle your case without your permission.
A court will often resolve the few Bronx road rash claims that don’t settle. Sometimes, a judge decides who wins or loses based on written arguments the lawyers submit to the court before trial. In others, the lawyers must present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. In those cases, the judge or jury decides, based on the evidence they’ve heard, whether and how much you receive as damages for your road rash injury claim.
You and Your Lawyer Get Paid
Suppose your lawyer succeeds in getting you a settlement or winning in court, assuming no one has filed an appeal. In that case, the party at fault for your Bronx road rash injury or an insurer typically must immediately pay the agreed or awarded amount.
That money usually arrives within a week or two. The defense usually pays it into your lawyer’s client trust bank account. From those funds, the lawyer usually deducts the amount of the contingent fee and any expenses or money you owe to third parties (like medical providers) and then sends the rest to you.
Contact a Bronx Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love suffered a road rash injury in a Bronx traffic accident, protecting your rights to compensation is vital. Contact an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney today for a free case evaluation.