Veterinarians are required by law to adhere to the protocols and practices of the veterinary field. When a veterinarian fails to meet the standard of care for the veterinary industry, he or she may be sued for veterinary malpractice. As a veterinarian, it’s important that you understand how to avoid becoming the recipient of a veterinary malpractice lawsuit. Below in overview of veterinary malpractice litigation. For additional information, please contact a veterinary practice litigation attorney.
Malpractice Requires Negligence
Veterinary malpractice requires negligence on the part of the veterinarian. For a plaintiff to prevail in a veterinary malpractice lawsuit, the following elements must be present:
- The veterinarian had a duty of care to treat an animal,
- The veterinarian failed to meet his or her duty of care,
- The animal was injured or died due to the veterinarian’s failure to meet his or her duty of care, and
- The animal’s owner experienced emotional distress or economic loss due to the vet’s actions.
Common Types of Veterinary Malpractice
In order to understand veterinary malpractice, it’s helpful to become familiar with common behaviors that constitute veterinary malpractice. Common forms of veterinary malpractice include:
- Providing an animal with the wrong treatment or medicine,
- Failing to provide an animal with necessary treatment,
- Providing an incorrect diagnosis, and
- Stopping an animal’s treatment prematurely.
Avoiding Veterinary Malpractice
In order to avoid a veterinary malpractice lawsuit, you must anticipate and prevent potential problems. Actions you can take now to avoid veterinary malpractice include:
- Regularly evaluate your veterinary practice to identify and address problem areas,
- Regularly consult with your employees to ensure that they are taking proper preventative measures, and
- Stay up to date on developments in the area of legal liability for veterinary malpractice.
Defending a Veterinary Malpractice Lawsuit
A person can initiate a veterinary malpractice lawsuit by filing a civil lawsuit or a state board action. If you’ve been accused of veterinary malpractice, you must act quickly. Extensive knowledge and experience in the area of veterinary malpractice law is necessary to successfully defend a veterinary malpractice lawsuit. Therefore, if you’re facing a veterinary malpractice lawsuit, you should contact an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys
Operating your own veterinary practice is extremely rewarding. However, like all businesses, it also has risks. Therefore, if you run a veterinary practice, you need an experienced veterinary attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, we understand the veterinary business. Our firm was founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, and we are experienced in helping veterinarians avoid litigation. In addition, attorney Anthony Mahan is as comfortable at the negotiation table as he is in the courtroom. Therefore, whether you are facing a veterinary malpractice lawsuit or would like to be proactive in protecting your practice, we are here to help. Please contact us for a consultation.