Tattoo Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a tattoo injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a tattoo injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
tattoo injury compensation:
Around 20 million people in the UK, one in five citizens, has at least one tattoo. That figure rises to one in three for young adults. Figures from the Economist suggest that the number of tattoo parlours on Britain's high streets has grown by 173% over the past decade to service the growing demand for body art.
1 in 10 customers experience an adverse event
The majority of tattoo applications and tattoo removals are carried out safely. However, research suggests that up to one in ten customers will suffer a tattoo-related adverse event following their procedure, with injuries ranging from allergic reactions to tetanus and hepatitis infection.
If you have been injured or become ill by receiving a tattoo or tattoo removal treatment, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Do I have a tattoo injury claim?
It should be possible to make a tattoo injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a tattoo injury claim on their own behalf.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a tattoo injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
The amount of money you could claim for your tattoo injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your tattoo injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a tattoo injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a tattoo injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a tattoo injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your tattoo injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I get an interim payment?
Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.
Calculate my tattoo injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a tattoo injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your tattoo injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a tattoo injury claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for a tattoo injury can vary considerably.
A straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim could be settled in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied the process might take significantly longer. Usually, an occupiers liability claim takes between 6 and 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your tattoo injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Risks associated with tattoos
Most body art procedures occur without incident. In rare cases, however, serious complications may occur. These include:
- Allergic reactions
- Bruising, bleeding and other needlestick injuries
- Dermatitis and other skin conditions
These and other adverse health events are often the result of substandard treatment carried out by a tattooist who has not been properly trained or who did not follow correct hygiene protocols.
Is the tattooist liable for my tattoo injury?
Tattooists have a duty of care to their clients. As well as exercising reasonable skill and care in applying the tattoo, they must provide a safe and hygienic experience and comply with relevant health and safety laws. As minimum, tattoo practitioners must:
- Verify that the customer is over the age of 18 (it is illegal to tattoo a minor)
- Conduct a thorough medical consultation to establish suitability for the procedure
- Gain the client's informed consent for the procedure
- Properly warn the client of the risks associated with the procedure
- Keep detailed records of the medical consultation for up to 2 years
- Observe health and safety procedures regarding hand washing and the use of disposable latex gloves
- Use a new, sterile needle on every customer
- Give full and appropriate aftercare advice
- Ensure that any needles and waste that may be contaminated with blood are correctly disposed of.
Where a tattoo artist fails to meet these standards and the client suffers harm as a result, it is more likely that a claim will be successful.
Tattoo removal compensation claims
The majority of unwanted tattoos are safely removed by laser treatment which involves passing a beam of high intensity light through the skin to break down the tattoo ink. The procedure is relatively new and the industry, while growing, is unregulated. This means that customers cannot always be sure of receiving professional treatment by fully trained tattoo removal therapists.
Not highlighting the risks prior to commencing laser tattoo removal treatment may amount to negligence. Other types of negligence associated with tattoo removal treatment include:
- Inappropriate use of the laser, for example, holding it too close to the skin causing burn injuries and scarring
- Use of unregulated equipment
- Inadequate health and safety procedures
- Failure to medically assess a patient's suitability for the treatment
- Inadequate post-treatment care.
Evidence is required to prove negligence in these types of claims. In particular, photographs are likely to be needed to show the extent of the injury. A solicitor can arrange an assessment by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine the extent of the injury and the likely prognosis. These factors will help to determine an appropriate amount of compensation.
After-care and contributory negligence
Clients who get a tattoo or tattoo removal have a responsibility to follow the aftercare regime recommended by the practitioner. Claimants who suffer injury following the procedure will have to prove that the injury did not develop as a result of their own lack of care whilst the tattoo or laser removal treatment was healing.
Customers who did not follow the aftercare protocol may still bring a claim. However, the Court may decide that the claimant was partly responsible for their own injuries and apportion blame using a split liability agreement.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if you do not win your tattoo injury claim, you won't have to pay any legal fees. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement entered into between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your tattoo injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my tattoo injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my tattoo injury claim?
If your tattoo injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Tattoo injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a tattoo injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the tattoo injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your tattoo injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a tattoo injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim tattoo injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a tattoo injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.