Burn injuries from a motorcycle accident in Atlanta can have long-term consequences. Many burn injuries involving motorcycles are second-degree or third-degree burns, which often necessitate medical care, hospitalization, and more. Below is an overview of the types of motorcycle burn injuries that riders might suffer.
Motorcycle Exhaust Burns
Motorcycle exhaust burns occur when the person comes in contact with the motorcycle exhaust pipes. A Greek study published in 2005 in the journal Burns found that nearly three-quarters of all motorcycle exhaust pipe burns involved passengers, usually when the passenger was getting on or off of the motorcycle.
These burns often occurred during summer, according to the Greek study. This is a time when it is less likely that Atlanta motorcyclists will wear the kind of protective clothing, like long pants, that can reduce risk of such injuries. The researchers estimated that risk of these burns while wearing shorts may be reduced by 46 percent simply by wearing long pants.
Burns from Defective Motorcycle Parts
Certain defective parts on a motorcycle might increase the risk of a fire or very hot components on the bike. A leak in the gasoline tank, for example, can contribute to an explosion or fire, leading to burn injuries. Friction from a defective brake could also increase risk of a fire or very hot components.
Burns from Road Rash
The term “motorcycle burn” is also very often used to refer to the kind of injuries that a motorcyclist sustains when he is dragged on concrete or asphalt during an accident. During such contact with the asphalt, the motorcyclist's skin may tear, leading to serious abrasions. These injuries may become even more complicated when pieces of debris, soil, and mud from the road enter the wounds, creating a risk of infection.
Road rash injuries, as these injuries are commonly called, can be relatively minor and cause only superficial injury to the top layer of the skin (first-degree road rash). But others may affect deeper layers of skin (second-degree), or could affect all layers of skin and the underlying tissue and muscle (third-degree). The latter is the most serious and may necessitate skin grafts and other surgery.
Consequence of Motorcycle Burns
One of the more long-term consequences of these motorcycle injuries is the scarring and disfigurement these injuries may leave behind. Second- or third-degree burns can result in severe scarring, and these scars may never completely heal even with cosmetic surgery.
When the scarring involves exposed areas of the body like the face or the neck, the person may suffer from multiple issues.
- Loss of self-esteem
- Possibly even an inability to go back to a former job because of the physical disfigurement
A person who suffered serious burns on the face, for instance, may never feel capable of returning to a former job if it was worked in the public eye, such as the hospitality business or public speaking. Apart from scarring and physical disfigurement, a motorcyclist who suffers burn injuries could also face restricted movement or motion in the area of the body that was burned.
Compensation for Motorcycle Burn Injuries from an Accident
Your claim after suffering burn injuries in a motorcycle accident should seek compensation not just for medical expenses, but also for physical therapy, rehabilitation, and cosmetic surgery. If the injuries and scars leave you unable to return to your former job, the claim must also include diminished earning capacity. Noneconomic damages may also be recoverable.
Discuss your claim with a motorcycle accident lawyer at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz. If you’re in the Atlanta area, call 404-474-0804 to discuss your motorcycle accident claim, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation.