Lawsuit for infection after getting a tattoo?


I got a tattoo for the first time and a few days later it looks like there is an infection on my arm. Does the tattoo parlor have any liability for causing skin infections and other injuries that may arise?


Yes, a tattoo parlor can be held liable when something goes wrong during or after the tattoo process, but that liability isn’t absolute. There are known risks associated with tattoos, and in many cases you assume those risks by agreeing to get the tattoo -- before you sat in the chair, you probably signed a consent form that informed you of the risks associated with the tattoo process.

Having said that, a tattoo parlor can’t absolve itself of all liability just by pointing to your signature on the consent form. If the parlor or the artist is somehow negligent at any point in the process, and you are injured as a result, you may have a valid claim. For example, they may fail to ask you about your allergy history or other medical issues prior to giving you the tattoo, they may fail to use clean and sterile needles and protective equipment, or they may fail to give you proper after-care advice (usually the tattoo parlor gives you a written list of instructions to follow in the hours and days after you get your tattoo).

If you do decide to pursue a legal claim against the tattoo parlor and the artist who inked you up, don’t be surprised if they argue that your skin problem or other health issue was caused by something else, or that you didn’t do everything you were instructed to do in terms of after-care.

And if it turns out that you are partially responsible for the infection or some other problem associated with the tattoo, the amount of compensation you can receive will be affected. Learn more about shared fault in personal injury cases.      

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