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Sunbed Tanning Injury
(Symptoms, Liability, & Legal Advice)

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is not currently accepting these types of cases and has posted this content for information purposes only. We encourage you to seek a qualified attorney, if you feel you might have a case.

Although UV light machines are popular, tanning beds and salons pose a risk of injuries such as tanning bed burns and infections to customers. This can be due to manufacturing errors or irresponsible behavior by employees.

If you suffered a severe burn while using a tanning bed and think the salon is at fault, you may have a chance to get compensation.

As a personal injury lawyer with a decade of experience, I'll share crucial details regarding injuries caused by tanning beds and options for seeking compensation.

Quick Summary

  • The parties that can be sued for a tanning bed burn include tanning businesses and equipment manufacturers.
  • Tanning salons can defend themselves against tanning bed injury claims by arguing that the customer was at fault and that the tanning bed did not cause the injury.
  • Compensation for tanning bed injuries may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement or scarring, and punitive damages.

What Is A Sunbed Tanning Injury?

A person with a sunbed tanning injury on a hospital bed

A sunbed tanning injury is any damage that occurs to the skin or body during the tanning process on tanning devices.

Sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause tanning bed burns, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Complications of Tanning Beds

Tanning indoors, primarily through sunbeds, can have several potential complications and adverse health effects [1].

Here are some of the most common complications of tanning indoors:

Here are some common symptoms of tanning bed burns:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Peeling Skin
  • Blisters
  • Itching
  • Dryness

If you experience any of these symptoms after using a tanning bed, treating the burn and avoiding further exposure to UV rays is essential.

Possible Liable Parties For Tanning Bed Injuries

A lawyer looking at a law book outside

Depending on the injury's circumstances, several parties could be liable for tanning bed injuries. Here are some examples of potentially responsible parties:

  • Tanning salon or business: The indoor tanning salon or business that operates the tanning bed could be held liable if they failed to maintain or operate the equipment during the tanning process correctly or if the tanning salon staff failed to provide proper instructions or warnings to customers.
  • Equipment manufacturer: If the tanning bed malfunctions due to a defect or design flaw, the manufacturer could be liable for the tanning bed burn.

Medical Treatment For Tanning Bed Injuries

A doctor writing down treatments for a tanning bed injuryIf you experience any of these injuries, it's important to consult a doctor or dermatologist promptly. 

Peeling skin and the formation of blisters are natural ways of the body's natural healing mechanism in response to sunbed burns.

However, this process can be slow, and the peeling and large blisters may cause irritation, so it is extremely important to seek medical treatment.

Treatment for a bed burn includes applying the following:

  • Aloe vera on the affected area of the body,
  • Moisturizers or lotions for  the redness, blisters, and skin peeling
  • Full body cool shower to treat the dry skin and cool the body
  • Ibuprofen to alleviate the additional pain caused by the sting on your body
  • Hydrating with cold water to help your body flush

Suppose the tanning bed burns display symptoms such as infection, frequent pain, swelling, fever, discharge, and blisters larger than two inches or necessitate a tetanus shot. In that case, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

"The UV rays from indoor tanning could cause melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Indoor tanning increases the risk of skin cancer."
- The World Health Organization

How Much Can You Claim?

A lawyer writing down on a notebook while in front of a laptop

The compensation you can claim for tanning bed injuries will depend on various factors, including the severity of the injury, the extent of the damages suffered, and the circumstances surrounding the injury. 

In general, compensation for tanning bed injuries may include the following:

Common Defenses Used

A lawyer doing paperwork in an office

When sued over tanning bed burns caused in their beds, tanning businesses usually use these two defenses:

  1. You were partially to blame for your injuries.
  2. You assumed the risk of getting burned by using the tanning bed.

Contributory Or Comparative Negligence


If you have tanning bed burns, you may be deemed partially responsible if you, for instance, request an excessively high UV intensity level on the tanning bed.

Tanning businesses often use comparative or contributory negligence as a defense to decrease the compensation they are required to pay.

Assumption Of The Risk

Tanning salons can use the assumption of risk defense if they are sued. This means they argue that you knew the risks of sun tanning and chose to do a tan anyway. 

However, if the salon unreasonably increases your risk of getting a sunburn, the assumption of the risk generally does not protect them.

If you were in this situation, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you.


What Are Some Common Sunbed Injuries?

Some common sunbed injuries include sunburn, premature skin aging, eye damage, skin cancer, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, allergic reactions, infections, and vitamin D toxicity.

The severity of the injury can vary depending on factors such as the duration and frequency of tanning bed use, the intensity of the UV rays, and the individual's skin type.

Are Sunbeds Illegal In The US?

No, sunbeds are not illegal in the USA. However, the use of tanning beds is regulated by the FDA, which requires manufacturers and operators to follow certain safety guidelines to minimize the risk of injury.

How Do Customers Get Tanning Bed Burns Injuries at a Salon?

Customers get tanning bed burn injuries at a salon due to a variety of reasons, including extended exposure to UV rays and the use of a tanning bed that is not properly maintained or cleaned.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney Today

Tanning bed burns can have serious consequences on your body. If you or a loved one has suffered from such an injury, it is essential to seek legal assistance to hold the responsible parties accountable.

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP our experienced personal injury attorneys can help guide you through the legal system and fight for your rights.