Like most consumer businesses, nail salons have a duty to keep their customers free from infections, diseases, and other types of foreseeable harms. For instance, if a nail salon does not properly sterilize their tools and you receive an infection due to their poor hygiene practices, then you may be able to sue for negligence.
Of course, many other factors will need to be considered before you can build your case. Just because you get an infection from a nail salon, does not always mean you have a supportable lawsuit.
The reason for this is because of the elements for negligence. As the plaintiff, you must be able to prove that the nail salon was negligent based on the standard duty of care that nail salons have to all customers.
Along with proving that they have a duty, the plaintiff will also need to prove that the nail salon has breached that duty, that they were the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm, and that the plaintiff has an actual injury that can be redressed.
So, for example, a plaintiff may have an issue proving actual cause if they come into the salon with a cut already on their foot. Although dirty water and unclean bins and/or tools while getting a pedicure could make that cut worse and infect it, the plaintiff was ultimately the one who came in with an unsafe condition, so it will be much harder for them to prove a successful case.
On the other hand, if the salon was both the actual and proximate cause of their cut and subsequent infection, then it is more likely that the plaintiff will be successful.
Finally, if you have been involved in an injury or have contracted a disease from your nail salon, you may want to contact a local personal injury lawyer to determine whether or not you have a case for which you can receive damages for your suffering.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get for a Nail Salon Injury?
The types of compensation a person may be able to recover for a nail salon injury include the same kinds of damages a person would be able to get for winning a negligence lawsuit. Some of these damages might include:
- Compensation for medical bills or treatments;
- Compensation for lost wages;
- Damages for pain and suffering; and
- In rare cases, punitive damages.
Additionally, although it is not a form of damages, they can also submit a consumer protection complaint to prevent the nail salon from injuring others in the future.
Are There Any Defenses for a Nail Salon Injury?
There are some defenses that a nail salon may be able to use against a personal injury claim. One of the most common defenses used in these types of cases is known as “contributory negligence”. This is also a frequently cited defense for many other kinds of negligence cases.
Essentially, contributory negligence means that the defendant (in this instance the nail salon) will attempt to demonstrate to the court that the plaintiff contributed to their injury and thus the salon should not be held liable. For instance, this may be a defense that a salon can use when the plaintiff came in with a cut that was already infected.
It should be noted, however, that not all states permit a contributory negligence defense. In the ones that do, it is important to review the local laws because in some states they will preclude a plaintiff from collecting any damages, but in others, the laws will allow the plaintiff to collect some form of damages.
Another defense the defendant can try to assert is “assumption of risk”. This happens when a plaintiff knew the risks involved, but went ahead and did some action that caused them harm anyway.
Again, with the above example, if the plaintiff knows that they have an infected cut on their foot or hand, but did nothing to treat it and still got a pedicure or manicure anyway, then the defendant may be able to prove that they assumed the risk of contracting a greater infection.
One final defense that a defendant nail salon may have is if the plaintiff failed to file their claim within the statute of limitations. Although statute of limitations will vary according to state laws, they usually provide a time-frame of 1 to 3 years in which a plaintiff has to file a claim. After this time period has passed, the plaintiff will no longer be able to bring an action in court against the defendant.
Can a Nail Salon Be Liable for an Injury Caused by Another Customer?
While it would be extremely difficult to hold a nail salon liable for contracting a cold from a customer sitting next to another patron, a nail salon could be responsible for an injury caused by another customer if they do not follow proper state safety guidelines.
For example, most states have health and safety codes that consumer businesses must obey. If it can be proven that one customer got sick or injured by another customer because the nail salon violated its state or city’s local health codes, then the customer may be able to bring a negligence lawsuit, or in extreme cases, a wrongful death lawsuit against the nail salon.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Want to Sue a Nail Salon for Injury?
If you are currently suffering from an infection or other harm that you received from getting a treatment at your nail salon, then you should consider contacting a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether you have a supportable case, and if so, can help you prepare the necessary documents as well as advocate on your behalf before a court.
Additionally, if a lawyer determines that the amount you can recover is not very much, then they may refer you to a local small claims court where you will be able to represent yourself and not reduce any damages awards on legal fees.