In 2015, the New York Times estimated that there are over 17,000 nail salons in New York City. Manicures and pedicures are beauty routines that millions of Americans obtain every week or month, but they can present health risks to their patrons when good business practices are not followed.

Among the most common injuries experienced at nail salons are bacterial or fungal infections resulting from a manicure or pedicure. It is also possible to contract hepatitis, staph infections, and other dangerous viruses during these types of treatments, especially if you already have an open wound or are cut or burned in the course of treatment.

In some cases, the infection is so severe that you may need intensive medical treatment. Staphylococcus, more commonly known as staph, is a bacteria strain which can be fatal under certain circumstances. One of the most common complications is “scalded skin syndrome,” an infection in which blisters form over large areas of the body, causing the skin to peel off. The infection must be treated with intravenous antibiotics and can even be fatal.

Common causes of nail salon injuries include:

  • Personnel who are poorly trained
  • Using unsterilized or unsanitary tools or equipment
  • Cuts that can lead to contraction of a blood-borne illness
  • Whirlpools that were not properly disinfected after each use
  • Exposure to toxins

Whatever the cause of a nail salon injury, the results can be drastic. In June 2016, a Chicago woman sued a salon after her husband allegedly picked up an infection after a pedicure and died. She claimed that the employees used contaminated products that caused such a severe reaction that his leg had to be amputated before his death.

More recently, in April 2018 a Phoenix client sued a nail salon, claiming that she’d been cut by a manicure tool and received a wound that went all the way down to the bone, allowing an infection to set in. She had to undergo surgery to prevent amputation.

These are admittedly rare events: in most instances, the worst outcome from a manicure is smeared polish or another issue with the finished work. Accidents still happen, though, and if your life changes for the worse after a salon visit, then you need to know your rights.

In New York, nail salon owners have a legal obligation to carry out manicures and pedicures in a safe and sanitary setting and to follow state health guidelines. Those that deal with clients in a careless manner should be led accountable for any injuries that they cause. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer will advise you on the best way to pursue your case and fight to see you fairly compensated for your losses. Jayson Lutzky is an attorney with an office in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx handling accident and personal injury cases. If you have been injured due to another person’s carelessness or negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical costs and lost wages. Call 718-514-6619 to set up a free in-person consultation.