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When Are Tattoo Parlors Liabile for Injuries?

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

Tattooing is an ancient art that spans many cultures and has experienced an amazing resurgence in recent years. The rare traditional rite has become quite commonplace, and so too have tattoo lawsuits.

Tattoo parlors can be liable for anything from injury to ink that stinks, but only if the artist is somehow negligent. The ways to be negligent are many, but the one key is that you prove all four elements of the claim. Let's look at a few examples.

Possible Claims

It is difficult to succeed in a lawsuit based on a distaste for the finished artistic product. But it is not impossible to imagine that a tattoo artist could do something that went beyond the boundaries of artistic difference to a breach of the duty of care, resulting in a successful negligence claim if injury and compensable damages can also be proven.

A tattoo parlor is likely to be liable if you are injured due to negligent maintenance of tools, because the ink quality was poor, or because an artist harmed you. The tools of tattooing are dangerous and there are standards of care that parlors and artists must follow.

Given the intimate and dangerous nature of this practice, tattoo parlors do carry insurance and the industry is regulated. Lawsuits are relatively common, although you are often required to sign a release form before submitting to the needle.

To prove negligence you must show duty, breach, causation, and harm. If a tattoo parlor or artist somehow falls below the standard of care of a reasonable person or establishment in same or similar circumstances, causing injury resulting in damages, they will be liable. But remember, only you are responsible for what you choose to have tattooed on your body.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you have been injured at a tattoo parlor or elsewhere, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your case.

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