Some tattoo fails may entitle you to a personal injury claim. You have finally decided on the perfect tattoo; one that expresses who you are, one that shows your passion. You make the appointment. You go to the tattoo shop. You get inked. Then, you look in the mirror and…

You wanted this…

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But you ended up with this…

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But what if you ended up with this…

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We all make mistakes, and some more permanent than others. If one of your mistakes involved a tattoo you may be wondering if you have legal recourse against the tattoo artist and the shop. The answer is maybe. There are risks involved when getting a tattoo. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the risk that you might someday regret having that romance indelibly memorialized on your bicep – we’re talking about the risk of serious infection, blood borne diseases and allergic reactions. . If you are upset with the tattoo artist rendering of your dearly departed lab, you may not have much of a case. Most shops have clients sign release forms, which could make a lawsuit based on artistic differences more difficult. However, these forms generally don’t cover actual injuries or accidents like burns, blistering, or infections from bad ink

Tattoo lawsuits are nothing new and the majority of claims are based on injuries sustained during the tattooing process. In fact, these claims are so prevalent that tattoo shops often carry liability insurance. However, South Carolina does not require liability insurance at this time. Therefore, if you are injured during the tattoo process and the artist or shop are unable or unwilling to compensate you for your injury you may have to hire an accident lawyer to help you file a claim. Additionally, the injury could have been caused by forces outside of the artists or tattoo shop control. This means that liability and compensation may be the responsibility of the ink manufacturer or other equipment manufacturer. The personal injury lawyers at Clekis Law Firm do not charge for a consultation to discuss your case and assist you in deciding on the best course of action.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), contaminated inks have caused serious infections in a number of states. Of particular concern is a bacterial organism called non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM), which can cause infections of skin, joints, lungs, and other organs, as well as eye problems. These infections can be difficult to diagnose and can require treatment lasting six months or longer with a combination of antibiotics. Severe abscesses can require extensive and multiple surgeries to remove damaged tissue.
Recently, two San Diego residents were diagnosed with NTM infections caused by contaminated tattoo inks. There were 14 infections in New York were caused by a gray ink diluted by the manufacturer using non-sterile water. After the FDA’s investigation of the illnesses in New York and the other states, two ink manufacturers voluntarily recalled inks implicated in the outbreaks.
Ink can also be contaminated when the tattoo artist doesn’t use sufficient precautions during the tattooing process. Tap, bottled, filtered and distilled water are not sufficiently sterile to dilute ink, wash the skin or rinse the needle between colors. Also, the use of tattoo inks past their expiration date puts the customers at risk of infection.

If the equipment used to create the tattoo is not cleaned properly and is contaminated with infected blood, it can spread various blood borne diseases — including hepatitis B and C (which may lead to life-long liver damage and subsequent liver cancer), HIV, tetanus and tuberculosis. The consequences of these diseases are seriously and deadly.

New tattoos should be closely monitored for signs of infection: redness, heat, swelling or pus around the tattoo. NTM infections are easy to misdiagnose, with symptoms that appear much like an allergic reaction (red papules, or solid, raised spots on the skin that often appear soon after a new tattoo), so don’t take chances – see a physician.

There are many potential causes of tattoo-related health problems, and a number of possible sources of compensation to help pay for the medical expenses and pain and suffering endured by the victim. The personal injury lawyers at Clekis Law Firm can help you hold the responsible parties – the ink and equipment manufacturers, the careless practitioners, the disreputable business owners – accountable for your loss.