Bicycle Accident Injuries: Lacerations

It’s not uncommon to share the narrow bike lane with vehicles in Aurora. Unfortunately, a negligent driver swerving a little too close could send you flying, and result in serious injuries.

Lacerations are just one of the common injuries that may occur from a bicycle accident like the one described above. In 2011 there were more than 38,000 bicyclist injuries in the U.S. according to data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

Many of these injuries likely involved lacerations, which are often considered a secondary injury alongside more severe injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury.

Lacerations Are Not Always a Minor Injury

A laceration is known by many names: cut, gash, slash, slice. Some are relatively minor and only affect the outermost layer of skin. Many people talk about road rash, which can be a series of small cuts from coming in contact with the road, or it may be the erasure of the entire first couple layers of skin.

Dr. Prentice Steffen, Chief Medical Officer for Slipstream Sports recommends the following treatement for road rash, “let wounds dry and scab as quickly as possible. Initially, when road rash is still oozing, apply a thin layer of triple-antibiotic ointment and then wrap it in non-adhesive gauze. Severe lacerations may go deep into the skin, also separating soft tissue, fat, and muscle.

The more severe a laceration, the more serious the injury can become, especially if treatment is not sought immediately. Deep lacerations can result in critical blood loss. If you suffer a laceration, make sure it’s cleaned immediately and properly dressed to prevent bacteria from entering your bloodstream. In some cases, a physician may recommend a tetanus shot.

Even after treatment, a laceration may cause long-lasting or permanent damage. Depending on the location of the injury, lacerations may impair movement if around a joint or other moving area of the body such as near the eyes or lips. In many cases a laceration will heal and result in a scar which can turn into a permanent disfigurement.

Causes of Lacerations and Steps to Prevention

Lacerations are caused when something pierces or slices the skin and causes a tear in the outer layer, though some may go deep into the tissue below and down to the bone. In a bicycle accident a laceration may occur by coming in contact with glass from a vehicle windshield, gravel or debris on the pavement, or striking an object.

Your safety gear is your number one method for preventing laceration injuries in a bicycle accident. Wearing padded clothing that covers your skin can help protect against skin punctures. Helmets can prevent cranial lacerations, while gloves and good riding shoes (not sandals!) will protect your hands and feet.

Attorney D.J. Banovitz Knows Bike Accidents

As a cyclist you run the risk of severe injury when it comes to car crashes – and it’s through no fault of your own. When a negligent driver comes too close and strikes your bike, you just don’t have the same degree of protection as the motorist, which is why many cyclists find themselves in the hospital after a serious bike crash.

Attorney D.J. Banovitz helps victims of bicycle accidents seek justice against negligent drivers. Call us at 303-300-5060 or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-pressure, no-obligation consultation and get honest answers to your questions.