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Tattoo Injury Claims Guide – How Much Could I Claim?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 21st June 2023. Welcome to our tattoo injury claims guide. Thousands of people get tattoos every day across the country, and while the biggest regret most people have to worry about does not like their tattoo once it’s done, some people leave the tattoo studio with something much worse than poor inking.

Tattoo injury claim

Tattoo injury

Tattoo injury claims help people bring a lawsuit against a tattoo artist who has left you with an injury or illness after your tattoo. Poor cleanliness on behalf of the tattoo artist or studio can leave you with a range of problems such as abscesses, infections and diseases such as hepatitis if needles aren’t properly sterilised. If your tattoo artist did not ensure that you were fully informed of all the risks before your tattoo, you could claim tattoo injury compensation.

If you believe you have a tattoo injury claim, you should call a professional personal injury compensation lawyer to help you with your case. Legal Expert can put you in touch with a specialised solicitor who will offer you a free consultation to discuss your case before you decide whether or not to proceed. Call us today for advice on 0800 073 8804 to discuss your tattoo malpractice case and learn how to claim.

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What Is A Tattoo Injury?

Around 1 in 5 UK citizens has at least one tattoo, which is even higher amongst young adults. The tattoo industry has grown recently, with a 173% increase in high street tattoo parlours in Britain over the last decade. While most tattoos and body modification procedures are being carried out safely and with no ill effects, a small percentage of people who get tattoos do end up suffering an injury or illness due to poor practice on behalf of the artist or tattoo shop.

If the tattoo artist has not been adequately trained or they do not follow proper health and safety or hygiene procedures, then they could introduce dangerous bacteria and infection into your tattoo. Possible side effects of poor practice during a tattoo can include;

  • Allergic reactions
  • Bruising, excessive bleeding, other needlestick injuries
  • Scarring
  • Abscesses
  • Infection
  • Dermatitis or other skin conditions
  • Infection of serious blood-borne diseases

If you have suffered any of these complications following a tattoo, and you feel that it was the fault of sub-standard care or practice on behalf of the tattoo artist or tattoo parlour, then you may be entitled to begin a tattoo negligence claim. Tattoo injury claims can help you access compensation for your injury, so get in touch today if you have suffered a complication following a tattoo.

Does A Tattoo Artist Owe You A Duty Of Care?

You tattoo artist has a duty of care to ensure that not only do they perform their work to a reasonable standard with a high level of skill, they also have a duty to provide a clean, hygienic and safe environment in which to have your tattoo to reduce the chance of infection as they are dealing with needles and broken skin.

There are certain things every tattoo artist and tattoo parlour must ensure, and these include;

  • Ensure the client is over 18 as it is illegal to perform a tattoo on anyone under the age of 18
  • Gainfully informed consent before the tattoo by outlining potential risk in full to the client before the tattoo starts
  • Ensure the client has no medical conditions which would make getting a tattoo unsafe
  • Keep a record of the medical assessment and client’s consent for up to 2 years.
  • Follow proper health and safety procedures regarding washing hands and using disposable latex gloves.
  • Use a new, sterile needle for each new customer
  • Provide adequate aftercare advice
  • Dispose of any used needles and any other waste contaminated with blood properly.

In tattoo injury claims where it can be proven that a tattoo artist has failed to meet any of these basic standards, then it is more likely that tattoo injury compensation will be awarded.

How Could A Tattoo Go Wrong?

Having a tattoo done is a permanent decision and is one which you will have put plenty of thought into; finding the right artist, choosing the right design and picking the perfect placement. Most people don’t think they will be leaving the tattoo studio with anything other than the tattoo they wanted, but that isn’t always the case.

One of the reasons people begin tattoo negligence claims is that they do not get the tattoo they have asked for. With it being such a permanent choice, if the tattoo artist doesn’t ink the design that you have chosen, then it is an expensive mistake for you to have corrected and the new design may also cause embarrassment and, depending on the placement, mean you need to cover up or miss work because of it.

The most common reason that people seek tattoo injury compensation is that they have contracted an infection or a disease from poor hygiene practices. Infections can be easily spread through artists not washing their hands or equipment, and unsterile and used needles can pass on serious illnesses such as hepatitis.

If you have suffered any of these examples and are considering filing a bad tattoo lawsuit, contact Legal Expert today. One of our personal injury lawyers will be in touch to discuss your claim.

Can You Sue A Tattoo Artist If You Get An Infection?

Infections occur when bacteria enter the skin through an open wound. There are bacteria everywhere, on most surfaces and in the case of tattoo parlours, the very nature of getting a tattoo creates several openings in the skin. If the skin, chair, equipment and tattoo artist’s hands are not cleaned before the tattoo begins, then there is a much greater risk of bacteria infecting the skin as the tattoo is being done.

Every tattoo studio should have strict cleaning and hygiene standards to ensure that the risk of infection is kept minimal. Equipment should be sterilised, and the chair and skin should be cleaned with anti-bacterial products before your tattoo. The artist should use a new, sterile needle and wear a fresh pair of latex gloves throughout the tattoo process.

If you have had a tattoo become infected and you believe this is because of poor hygiene practices on behalf of the tattoo studio, then you can contact the local council. The council has the legal right to respond to any such complaint, investigate the tattoo shop for cleanliness, and deem it unfit to practice if necessary. If this happens, then it will make excellent evidence for your tattoo injury claim. You should also get any infection seen by a doctor as soon as possible and obtain a full medical report for your tattoo injury claims.

What To Do If You Suffer A Tattoo Injury

If you have had a tattoo gone wrong, then you should act as quickly as possible to collect as much evidence to support any tattoo negligence claim. With any skin injury or infection, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. You should take photos of your injury or infection and write down your own version of events while it is fresh in your mind. If you can, you should attempt to get photographs of the tattoo studio if you are concerned that it is not clean and sterile.

To support your tattoo injury compensation claim, you should have a thorough medical assessment. If you don’t get a report when you first seek medical advice, we can provide a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. And they can provide a full report of your injury to support your tattoo injury claim.

What Is The Time Limit For Tattoo Injury Claims?

Taking action within the limitation period is an essential part of the tattoo injury claims process. As outlined in the Limitation Act 1980, you usually have three years from the date you were harmed to bring forward your personal injury claim.

However, the time limit might be suspended in some cases. For example, if someone does not have the mental capacity to make their own claim, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. Should they regain this mental capacity, they would have three years from the date of their recovery to start a claim. Alternatively, while the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend could act on the injured party’s behalf.

If you have any further questions regarding the time limit for tattoo claims, you can contact our advisory team. Our advisors can offer you a free consultation to determine whether you are within the time limit to make an eligible claim. Furthermore, you could be connected with one of our personal injury solicitors.

Tattoo Negligence Claim Compensation Calculator

To be able to make a tattoo negligence claim, you will need to prove that you suffered unnecessary harm due to the tattoo artist breaching their duty of care. You might not be able to make a claim for a minor tattoo blowout, but some examples of injuries you could claim for include scarring or infections if your tattoo artists used equipment that hadn’t been properly sanitised.

If your claim is successful, your compensation settlement could include general and special damages.

Special damages compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to the negligence. For example, you could be compensated for:

  • A loss of earnings.
  • Medical costs.
  • Travel expenses.

You will need to provide evidence about these losses, such as invoices or receipts.

General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured due to your injury. Many legal professionals will use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value claims. The JCG lists compensation guidelines for various injuries. Some of these figures are shown below in the table.

Please only use this table as a guide.

Type of injury Description Compensation amount
Severe dermatitis or other skin condition Soreness and cracking of the skin which effects employment with some psychological effects £13,740 to £19,200
Moderate dermatitis or other skin condition Effects continuing for significant time but improves with treatment £8,640 to £11,410
Mild dermatitis or other skin condition Itching/irritation which resolves in a few months £1,710 to £3,950
Substantial scarring Multiple or one substantial scar to the arms, legs, chest or back £7,830 to £22,730

Single scarring A single noticeable scar or small superficial scars with minor cosmetic deficit In the region of £8,640

Please speak to our advisors today to see whether you could make a claim if you have suffered unnecessary harm as well as a minor tattoo blowout due to a tattoo artist breaching their duty of care.

No Win No Fee Tattoo Negligence Claims

Making a No Win No Fee tattoo compensation claim couldn’t be easier. You forgo the financial risk of potentially huge legal fees when signing a No Win No Fee agreement. That’s because you won’t pay a penny in legal fees if your case is unsuccessful. If you receive compensation for your tattoo injury claim, your legal fees deduct from your final payout.

Legal Expert’s panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. So, our team of personal injury specialists are always working as hard as possible in your best interests.

Contact Us

Our claims helpline is open from 9am – 9pm 7 days a week. So, call us today on 0800 073 8804 to speak to one of our advisors. Alternatively, please fill out our contact form, and a member of our team will contact you.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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