If you are planning to ride a motorcycle, you need to think in terms of safety, especially when it comes to what you’re wearing while riding. Too many motorcycle riders decide that summer is a time to forego hot, sweaty protective garb, so they ditch the gloves, jackets, long pants, boots and helmet, or they decide to give a ride to a friend who is wearing only shorts and flip-flops. But sacrificing safety for comfort is never a good idea on a bike — a simple crash can easily turn into a nightmare when unprotected skin meets the road.
When a person is knocked off a motorcycle, he may often skid across the surface of the road. On exposed skin, this produces a painful friction burn called road rash, which is a combination scrape wound and heat burn. This type of injury can tear a large portion of the skin’s surface and go deep enough to expose nerve endings. Road rash on bony areas such as elbows and knees is especially painful and may require surgical procedures to correct. Friction burns to exposed fingers, toes and feet can necessitate amputation.
For motorcycle riders, completely exposed skin is a disaster waiting to happen. But your toughest pair of denim jeans aren’t much better. It doesn’t take much friction after a crash to burn through denim and get down to your skin. Fortunately there are modern textiles that breathe better than traditional leather or Kevlar, so you can dress fashionably, ride cool, and stay protected.
You must also be aware that if you fail to wear protective clothing, a court could find that you contributed to your injuries, even if another driver was completely to blame for the crash. If the court finds that you were negligent because you didn’t take reasonable precautions to protect your skin, it could assign you 50 percent of the blame for the extent of your injuries. Under Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence law, once you reach that 50 percent threshold, you cannot collect compensation from another driver for your injuries.
Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic. To maximize your recovery, speak to a concerned attorney at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. Call us today at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.