Getting a tattoo is something you’ll probably take a long time to consider. After all, it is a big commitment that can’t be easily undone. After choosing a tattoo artist, you’d hope that they apply your tattoo satisfactorily and safely. If they don’t, you might be left with a botched tattoo or you could suffer an injury or become ill. If that happens, you may be entitled to claim damages for your suffering. Our article on tattoo compensation claims will look at when claims might be possible and what any compensation awarded could cover.
If you do want to claim for a tattoo gone wrong, we’re here to help. As part of our no-obligation consultation, your claim will be reviewed by a specialist and you’ll receive free legal advice. If we believe that you should be compensated and one of our personal injury lawyers decides to represent you, they’ll manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Call us on 0800 652 1345 if you’d like to discuss a tattoo claim right away. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about your options.
Are tattooists regulated in the UK?
There aren’t any specific laws relating to who can become a tattoo artist in the UK. However, artists can only work if they register with their local authority. Each council may have their own requirements but, in general, they will verify that:
- The tattoo parlour is operated within minimum hygiene recommendations.
- The tattooist is registered to operate.
- A registration certificate is displayed in a prominent place.
- The tattoo artist is competent and properly trained (checks may vary from council to council).
- Liability insurance is in place to cover the tattooist if anything goes wrong.
Legally, the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 makes it illegal for tattoos to be applied to anyone under the age of 18 years old.
What can go wrong with a tattoo?
Generally, if you use a registered tattoo artist, the chances of something going wrong are minimal. However, some of the problems that can lead to a tattoo compensation claim include:
- Where the wrong artwork is drawn or the tattoo is poorly applied.
- Burns and blistering leaving scars during tattoo removal.
- Skin infections that can spread to other parts of the body.
- Allergic reactions from the paints and chemicals used.
As well as any physical problems, a botched tattoo claim could include compensation to cover any embarrassment or other forms of psychiatric damage. This will be discussed in detail with your solicitor if your tattoo injury claim is taken on to try and make sure you are fully compensated.
Can I claim compensation for a tattoo injury?
If your claim is accepted by one of our personal injury lawyers, you’ll know that they believe you’ve got a fair chance of receiving compensation. To check this before accepting a tattoo compensation claim, they’ll review whether:
- The tattoo artist or parlour owed you a legal duty of care (almost always the case); and
- The defendant acted negligently in some way; and
- You suffered a tattoo injury as a direct result of that negligence.
As you can imagine, proving what went wrong with your tattoo and that the artist was negligent can be tricky. That’s why we strongly believe it’s best to take on specialist legal representation. You can help them to present as strong a case as possible by collecting proof to show how you’ve suffered. We’ll look at this in more detail later in this guide.
I signed a waiver, can I still claim compensation?
Many people think that signing a waiver means that they’re not entitled to compensation if something goes wrong with their tattoo. However, even if the tattoo shop asked you to sign a consent form, you could still be compensated for any suffering caused by negligence. So, please get in touch and let us know what happened and we’ll review your options for free.
If you have a copy of your waiver still, we’ll check its wording during your consultation.
Types of negligence by a tattooist that could result in a compensation claim
So, as explained earlier, you can only make a claim for a tattoo injury that was caused by some form of negligence.
For example, you may have the grounds to start a tattoo compensation claim in the following scenarios:
- Poorly qualified staff. You could claim for tattoo injuries caused because the tattoo artist was inexperienced or not fully trained.
- Hygiene problems. For example, you could claim for infections or injuries caused by dirty or reused needles.
- Poor technique. You may be entitled to claim for scars, infections or other problems because of procedural or technical errors while the tattoo was applied.
- Inacurate after care advice. You should always be told how to keep your tattoo clean and safe in the days and weeks after your tattoo was applied. If this didn’t happen and your skin became infected or scarred as a result, we could help you to claim.
- Wrong equipment. Using the wrong tool to apply a tattoo can increase the chances that something will go wrong.
- Allergic reactions. Prior to having a tattoo, any known allergies should be discussed with you to try and reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to pigments or materials used.
- Out-of-date ink. Any problems caused by out-of-date tattoo ink could mean you’re entitled to compensation.
Whatever type of tattoo injury you’ve suffered, please speak with a member of our team about your options. There’s no obligation to make a tattoo injury claim and we’ll answer any questions you might have.
How much compensation for a tattoo injury can I claim?
You might think that asking for compensation is simply a matter of requesting a lump sum of money to make you close the case. However, it is a little more involved than that. When claiming for an injury caused by a tattooist, you’ll need to think about the negative physical, mental and financial impact of your injuries.
As such, before filing your tattoo compensation claim, you should discuss the following with your solicitor:
- The physical pain and discomfort caused by your injuries.
- Embarrassment, distress, anxiety and other forms of psychological harm.
- Lost earnings (and also future losses if your injuries will reduce your earning capacity for the long term).
- Medical expenses.
- Any loss of enjoyment of hobbies and other usual activities.
- Care costs if needed.
- Travel expenses such as the cost of travelling for medical appointments linked to your injuries.
- Remedial laser or plastic surgery.
If you work with a solicitor on our panel, they’ll try to ensure that nothing is missed out from your claim to try and make sure you are fully compensated.
Providing proof for a tattoo injury claim
If you do decide to claim for an illness or injury caused by a tattoo, it is a good idea to provide as much proof as possible to support your claim. This will help your solicitor when they try to convince the tattoo parlour’s insurance company to compensate you. The types of proof that might be useful in tattoo injury compensation claims include:
- Before and after photographs. To demonstrate what went wrong with your tattoo, you should provide a picture from before it was applied and then some further pictures in the weeks and months afterwards.
- Correspondence. Any emails or text messages you sent to the tattoo artist could be used as proof to help determine liability for your tattoo-related injuries. For example, a response to a complaint could help to prove what went wrong.
- Medical evidence. If you are concerned about injuries or illnesses after a tattoo went wrong, you should visit your GP. They’ll diagnose any problems and try to treat the condition properly. Medical records could be requested from your doctor if you decide to claim to prove how you’ve suffered.
- Witness statements. Your solicitor may ask anyone else who was with you during your consultation or when your tattoo was drawn to provide a statement of what they saw and heard.
- Waivers or consent forms. As described earlier, if you have a copy of the consent form you signed, you should send it to your solicitor so that they can check its wording.
On top of everything listed here, you should keep a diary of how your tattoo-related injuries have impacted upon your normal activities. For example, you could diarise the dates that you couldn’t work or attend family events because of your injuries.
No Win, No Fee claims
In our opinion, using a personal injury solicitor from our panel to help you claim for a tattoo-related injury is a very good idea. Having a specialist legal representative on your side could make it easier to win your claim and could even lead to an improved compensation amount if the claim is won.
Our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis for any tattoo injury claims they take on. If your claim is accepted, you:
- Won’t be asked to pay for your solicitor’s work upfront.
- Will not pay legal fees if the claim fails.
- Will only pay a solicitor’s success fee if you receive compensation for your injuries.
Success fees form a fixed percentage of any settlement you receive. Legally, when using a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to fund your claim (as our solicitors do), the maximum success fee you’ll pay is 25 per cent of any compensation.
After you’ve read your CFA and signed it, your solicitor will start working on your claim right away. You won’t need to speak to the defendant or their insurance provider as your solicitor will manage all communication for you. They’ll fight your corner, negotiate on your behalf and keep you up to date throughout your claim.
If a settlement offer is received, it will be discussed with you to try and make sure it compensates you fully for your suffering.
Tattoo compensation claim time limits
If you make a personal injury claim because of a tattoo that’s gone wrong, you’ll have 3 years to do so. This limitation period will usually start from the date that your tattoo was applied or from when your injury became apparent.
We think it’s a good idea to begin your claim well within your time limit so that you don’t miss out on the compensation you might be entitled to. Beginning the claims process early will also mean there is plenty of time for proof to be collected and medical reports arranged.
If you have any immediate financial problems linked to your injuries, your solicitor could ask the defendant to pay interim payments while your claim is still being processed. These could cover medical expenses or help you if you’ve been affected by a reduction in your earnings.
Generally, where liability for a tattoo injury is accepted early on in the claims process, compensation can be paid out in around 6 months or so. If negotiation is needed or extra time is required to assess your suffering, claims can take longer.
Start a tattoo injury compensation claim today
We hope this article about tattoo injury claims has been useful and you understand your options now. If you would like to talk to us about claiming compensation for a botched tattoo, please call 0800 652 1345 today.
There’s no obligation to make a claim when you get in touch but one of our advisors will review your claim for free and offer advice on what you could do next. If there’s a reasonable chance you’ll be compensated, one of our personal injury lawyers might agree to represent you. If that happens, you won’t need to pay them anything in advance because of their No Win, No Fee service.
Our team is available on the phone or via live chat if you’ve anything else you’d like to know about tattoo compensation claims.