Nearly one in four Americans of all age groups have a tattoo. But if you look at the age group relating to anyone born between 1981 and 1996 – the so-called Millennials – that proportion rises to two in four. Tattoo parlors in Philadelphia earn more than two billion dollars each year, but that figure is expected to rise significantly in the next years.

The tattoo industry is booming, which prompts many Americans to open their own business in the industry or become a tattoo artist. Unfortunately, with the number of tattoo shops and tattoo artists in the U.S. rising steadily year by year, the number of botched tattoos and tattoo-related injuries are rising proportionately.

What to do if you get injured at a tattoo parlor?

“If you have been injured at a tattoo parlor or by a negligent tattoo artist, you do have the right to seek compensation for any damages and losses that you have suffered,” says our Philadelphia tattoo parlor injury attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group. Luckily, tattoo businesses are required to carry liability insurance to pay for any damages arising in personal injury claims.

In no way does it mean, however, that seeking compensation for your botched tattoo or tattoo injury is going to be a walk in the park. Rather, it’s going to feel like a walk in the woods where you have never been before, and it’s dark, confusing, and scary there.

We are going to talk about the difficulties of suing tattoo parlors in a bit, but first, let us highlight everything you need to know about tattoo parlor accidents in Philadelphia.

Do tattoo artists and parlors have any legal duties?

If you have been injured at a tattoo shop in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you may have a legitimate personal injury claim to recover damages. Our experienced premises liability lawyer explains that tattoo shops have a legal duty to meet a certain standard of care when inserting ink, dyes, and pigments on their clients’ bodies and skin.

In order to meet its standard of care, a tattoo parlor is legally required to:

  • Hold a legitimate license proving that the parlor is a registered business in Pennsylvania
  • Hire tattoo artists who have completed safety courses on bloodborne pathogens (like AIDS and Hepatitis) and have other certifications to prove that they are qualified and permitted to mark the skin of people with tattoos
  • Inquire about their clients’ medical history and any allergies before beginning the procedure
  • Ask their clients if they are over 18 and check their ID or other documents to verify the age (in Pennsylvania and other states, it is illegal to get a tattoo if you are under 18)
  • Have valid health and safety certificates
  • Train and require tattoo artists to use only new and sterile needles on each client, thoroughly wash their hands before the procedure, and wear disposable gloves during the procedure to minimize the risk of infection
  • Ensure that the client has not been drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo (having alcohol in your blood during the procedure increases the risk of bleeding) and
  • Give each and every client adequate aftercare advice to avoid complications (for example, your tattoo artist has a duty to inform you before, during, or immediately after the procedure that you should avoid swimming or tanning for quite some time after getting a tattoo)

Can you sue a tattoo parlor for your injury?

Thousands of Americans get injured at tattoo parlors all across the country each year, with injuries ranging from local infections (bacterial and fungal infections), inflammation, swilling, and permanent scarring to systemic infections (hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV) and hematoma. These injuries can result in such complications as spinal abscesses, gangrene, amputations, and even death.

Suing a tattoo shop for your tattoo-related injury or any complications after the procedure is going to be complicated. Our Philadelphia tattoo injury lawyer explains that you will have to prove that the tattoo artist who performed the procedure was negligent or that his/her conduct did not meet the above-mentioned standard of care.

Also, it does not make things easier that the owner of the tattoo parlor or the negligent or careless tattoo artist will most likely mount a defense to dispute your claim. These defenses can include arguing that you were partially or fully at fault for your tattoo injury, arguing that you signed a waiver of liability that absolves the tattoo parlor of liability (it doesn’t), and that you assumed the risk of injury when agreed to get a tattoo.

Talk to our experienced tattoo injury lawyers at Dan Doyle Law Group to discuss your particular situation. Schedule a free consultation by calling us.