A trip to the nail salon can offer some much-needed relaxation, but the next time you visit the salon, don’t get so relaxed or so absorbed in your magazine that you lose focus on what the technician is doing. Here at Litner + Deganian, we’ve recently represented two clients who suffered major health complications from nail salon injuries.
In the first case, our client’s big toe was cut while her distracted technician spoke to another customer. The cut became infected, and after a year of treatment, including skin grafts, the toe had to be partially amputated. We reached a $110,000 settlement with the salon, allowing our client to move on with her life.
In the second case, our client lost motion in her finger due to a salon injury. That should be a similar settlement amount due to medical bills and loss of use.
What to Look for in Your Nail Salon
These stories are a little bit scary. But don’t rush out and cancel your next salon appointment just yet. It should be perfectly safe to visit a licensed, well-maintained salon. It just requires a little research and persistence to ensure your salon’s staff is properly trained on nail salon safety guidelines. If you’re diabetic, you’ll need to be especially vigilant about salon hygiene since a cut or infection could result in major health problems.
Of course, the salon should be meticulously clean and each station sanitized between clients. If the salon looks dirty, just imagine what invisible germs are there. Metal tools should be sterilized after every use, and porous ones—such as a file or pumice stone—should be new. Bring your own tools if you want to be completely sure they’re sanitary.
Each technician should have a Nail Technician License. You can look them up on the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers website. The salon should also provide a safe work environment for its technicians—one that minimizes their exposure to the dangerous chemicals used in the business. Chances are, if the salon doesn’t care about its workers’ safety, it might not care about your safety either.
Once you’re in the chair, make sure the technician is paying close attention—not talking on the phone, talking to coworkers, or speaking with other clients. Salon tools are sharp, and it doesn’t take much to cut you. Ask to have your cuticles pushed back rather than trimmed; that delicate skin is one of your best defenses against bacteria. And if you’re having gel polish removed, remember that it shouldn’t hurt. It’s never okay to be in pain at a nail salon.
What to Do if You’re Injured
If you’re injured in the salon, it’s important to document everything. The cut might seem minor at first—a little nick on the cuticle, for example. Still, you’ll want to take a picture at the salon and keep your receipt. If the cut doesn’t improve, make sure you seek medical attention immediately. Infection can set in quickly, and if you wait to see a doctor, you risk a more severe injury.
Before you contact the nail salon, contact a personal injury attorney. We have a proven track record of helping clients who’ve seen their lives upended by salon negligence. Contact the Decatur personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian today. You can get a free consultation at our office, conveniently located on Briarcliff Road near Emory and Brookhaven.