Although operating a veterinary practice is a rewarding endeavor, it isn’t without its challenges. One such challenge is the threat of legal action. Fortunately, many of the legal issues with which veterinary practice owners must contend can be avoided with appropriate planning. And even when legal challenges arise, they can often be resolved successfully with the help of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. In this article, we examine several common veterinary practice mistakes that can lead to legal challenges.
Mistake #1: Failing to Practice as an Entity
If you practice without the protection of a corporation or LLC, you are taking a huge risk. Without the protection afforded by a corporation or LLC, you can be held personally liable any time a legal issue arises involving you or your practice.
Mistake #2: Delegating Financial Duties
Most veterinarians would rather focus on animal care than finances. This is understandable. However, as a veterinary practice owner, you must remain involved in the financial aspects of your practice. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hire someone to help you manage your practice’s finances. However, by totally ignoring this aspect of your business, you take a huge risk.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Inventory and Operations
As a veterinary practice owner, you must fulfill many roles. One such role involves managing the operations and inventory of your practice. If you completely delegate these areas to your employees, you could very well face a lawsuit in the near future. Expired medication, insufficient inventory, and similar issues can all result in legal action. So, you must remain involved in managing the inventory and operations of your practice.
Mistake #4: Recordkeeping Oversights
Good recordkeeping is mandatory if you want your practice to succeed. Unfortunately, however, veterinarians routinely find themselves in trouble for failing to keep detailed records. This is especially true in the case of employee records. When an employee’s performance leads to his or her termination, it is important to maintain a record of these actions. Otherwise, if an employee later files a lawsuit, you’ll lack sufficient evidence to support your actions.
Mistake #5: Failing to Deal with Upset Clients Effectively
Not all clients will be happy with the service you provide. However, when a client is unhappy, you must do everything you can to address his or her concerns. Not only will this help you maintain a good reputation in your community, but it can help you avoid lawsuits.
Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys
Although legal issues are practically inevitable when you run a veterinary practice, many legal problems can be avoided through proper planning. Therefore, if you are a veterinary practice owner, and you’d like to address common legal issues before they arise, you should enlist the services of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary legal professionals understand the veterinary business. Founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, our practice is dedicated to helping veterinarians avoid litigation. However, should you face legal action, we are also available to provide you with powerful legal representation. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.