Roughly 36% of Americans in the 18-29 age bracket have at least one tattoo. Of those who are inked, 70% have more than one tattoo, while 20% have more than five. Tattoos have become very popular and have gone mainstream. Unfortunately, there are times that something can go wrong when you’re getting a tattoo. From pain and infections to misspelled tats and wrong placement, it helps to know your legal rights if you’re not happy with the outcome of your mark.
Pain And The Factors Affecting It
Before getting inked, you will probably research the implications of getting a tattoo. Tattooing is a painful process considering that your skin is getting scratched by needles. However, pain by itself is not an immediate cause for legal action. The only consolation is that not all tattoos hurt in the same way because there are many factors that affect the amount of pain that you will be feeling. One factor is placement, and fatty, fleshy areas are the least painful ones compared to thin layers of skin or bony areas. Tattoo styles also matter because complicated designs involve the use of different types of needles.
Alcohol consumption is another issue, and because it thins your blood, you might experience excess bleeding while being tattooed. Note that there is no federal law that regulates tattooing, apart from statutory laws in all 50 states and the district of Columbia requiring that a person receiving a tattoo must be at least 16 years old. Hence, artists in all jurisdictions have to abide by this law, but they may also choose to impose certain restrictions such as refusing to perform a tattoo in places that they consider offensive or inappropriate. They can also decline to ink clients who are intoxicated because they cannot legally sign the release form if they’re drunk.
When It Goes Wrong
It is normal to feel pain, but infections are another concern. If you can prove that the artist was negligent, and if that negligence caused the infection, you can file a personal injury claim. An attorney can represent your legal rights and claims proving that the ink was contaminated or that the needles used were dirty. You will also need a medical testimony to support the claim of infection. Be mindful, though, that before tattooing, you might have signed a waiver of liability absolving the parlor or the artist of all legal responsibility. However, there are certain exceptions, especially if the waiver is too broad. While a tattoo salon might be absolved of liabilities on normal injuries or illnesses, it does not exempt them if you contracted a disease like hepatitis because of reusing dirty needles.
If you have a misspelled tattoo, you can also sue for monetary damages for as long as you have proof that you provided the correct spelling and the artist messed it up. In this case, apart from the negligence claim, you can also file damages for breach of contract. Your compensation, if you can prove it, is limited to out-of-pocket losses or the money you need to spend to fix or remove the tattoo.
Tattoos are interesting, attractive and fashionable. Unfortunately, they can also cause personal injuries. Knowing your legal rights if something goes wrong can help in pursuing financial claims if you can demonstrate that you were wronged.