Can a Tattoo Lead to a Personal Injury Claim?

 In Personal Injury

tattooTattoos have become extremely popular in today’s society, and although there are many rules in place to keep tattoo parlors safe and sanitary there is always that chance that something could go wrong. When getting a tattoo the artist uses a small needle that injects ink into someone’s skin in a design of their choice. Most times these injection wounds heal quickly without any problems. However, there are instances where that tattoo becomes infected. An infection can occur due to several different issues, including but not limited to the following:

  • The needle may have been sterilized improperly or reused.
  • The chair or surrounding area where the customer sits may have not been cleaned and had collected dust that could infect the tattoo.
  • The tattoo artist hadn’t washed their hands or didn’t wear gloves.
  • Chemicals in the ink could be contaminated.
  • The tattoo artist did not perform a proper medical background check to avoid possible allergies.

Before Getting a Tattoo

Before getting a tattoo it is important to do your research. Just because a friend went somewhere and received an unheard of low price on their tattoo doesn’t mean it was just a good deal from a great artist. Look up the local tattoo parlors, and choose the one you think best fits you, including credentials, cleanliness, experience and style. Look for past client testimonials, and make sure there aren’t an overwhelming number of negative comments against the place you’re considering. Once you’ve chosen a tattoo studio it is important to visit before taking the plunge to get a feel for the environment. Make sure they are both properly licensed and insured.

Ready for your Tattoo

When you do choose the right tattoo studio for you, you should be asked to sign a waiver. This waiver will put most of the responsibility onto you, which is why it’s so important to do that initial research. This waiver will ask you to acknowledge and consent to MANY things, including spelling and color, but the most important items that you will and should consent to including the following:

  • You’re at least 18 years old or ask a guardian to consent on your behalf.
  • You are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You are not pregnant or nursing.
  • You are submitting to be tattooed on a fully voluntary basis and are not being coerced.
  • You do not have diabetes, epilepsy, hemophilia, a heart condition, nor do you take blood thinning medication or have any other medical conditions, that may interfere with the application or healing of the tattoo.
  • If you suffer from Hepatitis or any other communicable disease, you have informed your chosen tattoo artist and have been advised of any necessary medication to promote safe healing.
  • You have been fully informed of any risks associated with getting a tattoo and fully understand these risks that may lead to injury, infection, scarring, allergic reactions, etc.
  • You have advised the tattoo artist of any allergies to metals, latex, soaps and medications.
  • You’ve acknowledged that you’ve been given the full opportunity to ask any and all questions about the application of your tattoo and that those questions have been answered to your total satisfaction.
  • The artist and parlor have given you full instructions on how to care for your tattoo, and you must acknowledge that you understand them and will follow them. If you do not follow the instructions, and your tattoo requires touch-up work or you get injured, you are inheriting all responsibility and negligence.
  • It will most likely waive and release the tattoo studio from any liability for any claims or causes of action causes by the negligence or fault of the artist or studio.

Once your tattoo is finished the tattoo artist will tell you how to take care of it during the healing process. This is your responsibility, and if it is found that the infection was caused because your lack of or incorrect aftercare, you are the only one at fault. It also removes liability from the tattoo parlor unless you are able prove that the infection or injury is due to the tattoo parlor’s severe negligence. You may or may not have a claim depending on how and if negligence is mentioned in that waiver you signed.

If you believe you have a case against a tattoo parlor for infection or injury, don’t hesitate to call us here at the LaBovick Law Group for a free consultation. We’ll explain your full rights, and we’ll let you know right away if you have a case and how we can help you.

 Image courtesy of by Marin

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