Like hospitals and other types of medical clinics, veterinary practices operate under constant threat of legal action. Unfortunately, this is simply a reality of providing healthcare service to animals. And although it isn’t possible to eliminate the risk of litigation entirely, there are several steps you can take to drastically reduce your odds of being sued. In this article, we explain how to protect your veterinary practice from legal action.
Choose the Right Business Entity
The type of business entity you choose for your practice can have a major effect on how protected you are from legal action. The primary benefit of structuring your veterinary practice as a business entity rather than in your own name is that a business entity lowers your liability exposure. Common veterinary business structures include corporations and limited liability corporations.
Carry Proper Insurance
Carrying proper insurance may be the most important thing you can do to protect your veterinary practice. Insurance provides you with protection against the risks encountered by your practice on a day-to-day basis. There are several types of insurance that you should consider as a veterinary practice owner. For example, you should consider carrying professional liability insurance with coverage limits that are commensurate with the scope of your services and the types of animals you treat. An additional type of insurance you should consider is business liability insurance, which insures against risks of injuries to people that occur at your practice.
Draft Clear Policies and Procedures
Every veterinary practice should have clear policies and procedures. Not only will this establish a uniform system of rules and guidelines for your practice, but it will be useful should legal disputes arise in the future. When developing policies and procedures, you should draft them in a manner that ensures compliance with applicable legal rules and regulations. In addition, you should establish a progressive system of discipline for your employees.
Stay Abreast of Regulatory Developments
Finally, as a veterinary practice owner, you should stay current on laws and regulations that affect the veterinary industry. Specifically, you should ensure that you are familiar with all state and federal laws affecting veterinary practices. In addition, if you have employees, you must keep up with general employment laws. Ideally, your practice’s policies and procedures will address and ensure compliance with these requirements.
Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Lawyers
At Mahan Law, we help veterinarians address their unique challenges. Regardless of your practice’s needs, our lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you address the issues you are facing. We have a deep understanding of the issues affecting the veterinary industry, and we can help you take steps to protect your practice and improve its overall efficiency. Please contact us today to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced and talented veterinary attorneys.