Veterinarian on her ipad looking at her patients' histories.

Common Legal Problems for Veterinarians

Running a veterinary practice is a rewarding and unique experience. However, like all worthwhile endeavors, it isn’t without its challenges. For example, veterinarians are particularly vulnerable to legal problems. Luckily, many of these issues can be avoided with proper planning. And even when a legal challenge arises, it can often be resolved with the assistance of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. So, whether you currently run your own veterinary practice or would like to do so in the future, you should familiarize yourself with the following common legal problems faced by veterinarians. 

Legal Issues Veterinarians Face

Failing to keep accurate records 

Veterinarians sometimes get into trouble for failing to keep detailed employee records. When an employee makes a string of mistakes that leads to termination, it is important to have a record of these actions. Otherwise, if a fired employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit, you’ll have little evidence to support your actions. 

Failing to address the concerns of agitated clients 

When a client is unhappy, you must address his or her concerns to the full extent possible. Ignoring an unhappy client is a great way to end up in a legal battle. 

Failing to practice under an LLC or corporation 

Practicing without the protection of an LLC or corporation is a recipe for disaster. Without this protection, you can be held personally liable for virtually anything that goes wrong at your office. 

Delegating all financial duties to others 

You’re a veterinarian, not an accountant. Therefore, it’s understandable that you’d prefer to focus on animal care and leave the financial aspects of the business to someone else. This is okay to an extent. However, you must have some involvement in the financial aspect of your business, even if this means checking that deposits are made and tax returns are filed. Completely ignoring your practice’s finances will almost certainly come back to bite you in the end. 

Ignoring your operations and inventory 

If you leave issues like operations and inventory to your employees and never check to make sure everything is as it should be, you are setting yourself up for a potential lawsuit. Poor medicine inventory, dirty drains, and expired drugs can all lead to lawsuits and sanctions. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys

Many of the above problems can be avoided with proper planning. And even those that are unavoidable can usually be resolved with legal assistance. So, whether you need assistance with a current legal challenge or would like to put a plan in place to help reduce your chances of being sued, you should enlist the help of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. At Mahan Law, we understand the veterinary business. Founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, our practice is dedicated to helping veterinarians avoid litigation by helping them design well-crafted agreements and proactive policies and procedures. And if your veterinary practice is facing litigation, we will provide you with powerful representation when you need it most. Therefore, if you require legal assistance, please contact us for a consultation.