Can I sue a tattoo artist for negligence?

Most tattoo parlours and studios have extremely strict health and safety standards, including not carrying out work for someone under 18 and going to extensive preparation lengths to reduce the chance of infection. However, sometimes things can go extremely wrong and you may be left wondering if you can sue your tattoo artist for bad work, infections and health problems or misspelt tattoos.

Tattoos are costly, and if they go wrong you cannot easily amend them.

Your options for dealing with a poorly-done tattoo consist of undergoing laser removal or having further work done to disguise the original tattoo often referred to as a ‘cover-up’. Both of these options can result in an unwanted outcome or be extremely expensive.

Tattoo Compensation Claims

Adding to the tattoo with a cover-up is not ideal as it takes a highly skilled and creative tattooist to disguise the poor tattoo and transform it into something more desirable. This situation can be difficult and every cover-up job is unique. There is no assurance that the outcome will be a significant improvement, and you will likely have to pay a large cost when having it rectified – and still, there is no guarantee the result will be what you want.

Laser treatment can cause unsightly scarring and is severely painful. It’s not a guaranteed solution, and in some cases, not even laser removal will be able to completely remove a tattoo.; this is especially true of poorly executed tattoos where ink is very deep within the skin. Certain skin types also do not respond as well to laser removal as others, and certain colours of ink may be difficult to remove.

The importance of finding an expert tattooist who you trust cannot be stressed enough. Tattoos are for life and it is worth it to spend that bit extra on a skilled artist in order to avoid the distressing consequences involved with tattoo negligence.

Tattoo Compensation Claims

In certain situations, you may be eligible to pursue a tattoo compensation claim, particularly if your tattooist can be proved to have been negligent.

When you go to get a tattoo you are required to sign a consent form. This is essentially an agreement between you and the tattooist which highlights the possible implications involved with getting a tattoo, and by signing this you are accepting these risks. However, this is not to say that you cannot claim compensation from a tattoo artist.

If you feel like you have been a victim of tattooist negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

Examples of Tattoo Artist Malpractice Include:

  • Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Poor or unfocused work
  • Failure to inform the client about correct aftercare procedures
  • Infections (used needles, improper sterilisation)
  • Medical questionnaire not filled out by client (resulting in an allergic reaction)

Communication between you and the artist is crucial during the entirety of the tattooing process, beginning with the initial designing consultation. Before the tattooing is carried out, you have every right to go over the design and must give your consent that you approve of the artwork. At this point, it is of paramount importance that you double-check for spelling errors, as once you have approved the design it becomes much more difficult to brand the tattooist as liable.

Tattooists owe their clients a professional level of care and with the high prices involved when getting tattoos, it’s only fair that you would expect quality service in return.

The most vital thing to remember when making a claim is to have a strong body of evidence which cannot be faulted or questioned. This includes photographs of the tattoo as soon as it has been done and a record of photographs documenting any signs of infection or other health issues.

Can You Sue a Tattoo Artist for Bad Work

It is also vital that you contact the tattooist who carried out the work to make sure they know you are unhappy, and potentially seeking a claim.

Carter Law works on a no win-no fee basis, meaning if you are unsuccessful in your claim, you do not owe us anything, giving you financial peace of mind.

My Tattoo is Infected, Can I Claim?

There are strict hygiene standards in most tattoo parlours, and this includes things such as never reusing needles, sterilising the client’s skin beforehand and ensuring the chair they sit in is clean.

The most difficult part of seeking a claim when your tattoo is infected is proving that the infection is due to a lack of regulated hygiene standards at the parlour, and not from poor aftercare on your behalf.

If you have a tattoo which has become infected and you feel it is directly due to the unsatisfactory levels of hygiene the tattooist was practising, you can contact the council who legally have the right to investigate the studio. If the council rule the premises as being unfit for practice this will aid you in achieving compensation from your claim. You must also inform your doctor and get the infection thoroughly checked out.

My Tattoo Has a Spelling Mistake or Isn’t What I Wanted!

In the situation of getting an inaccurate or sloppy tattoo and having a word misspelt, the chance of achieving a successful claim is not as likely as if your tattoo were to become infected and you can prove physical injury.

In some cases, you can negotiate a deal with your tattooist in which they give you money for laser removal treatment or agree to try and amend the work. However, this would only be likely if you knew you were going to have to pay a large amount for correction of the original tattoo.

What is important to remember is that a tattooist will not pay out for laser removal just because you have changed your mind, or if you and the artist have different tastes in style. Tattoos are extremely individual and you can never be completely certain what you will end up with.

Can I Sue a Tattooist that Tattooed My Underaged Child?

You must be 18 to be tattooed and the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 explicitly states that anyone under the age of 18 cannot be tattooed in the UK, even with parental consent.  Reputable tattooists will ensure that their customers provide valid ID such as a driving licence or passport before they go under the needle. However, in some rare circumstances, a negligent tattooist will forgo checks and tattoo a person under the age of 18.

If you are the parent of a child who has been tattooed, then you may have a very strong case against the tattooist.

Contact us to Discuss Tattoo Compensation Claims

Carter Law can offer a personalised and confidential service regarding tattoo compensation claims. Contact one of our personal injury solicitors today to receive guidance on how to make a claim, taking your individual situation into account and information on what you may be entitled too.