Veterinary Malpractice Lawyers
What Is Veterinary Malpractice?
Veterinary malpractice is the failure of a veterinarian to meet the standard of care, which results in some injury to the animal the veterinarian is treating. However, the injury must go beyond the animal and extend to the owner.
What is the Standard of Care?
The standard of care is the level of care that would be expected of a veterinarian of ordinary skill and experience.
My Pet is Injured, How Can I Prove there Was Veterinary Malpractice?
To prove that your pet was the victim of veterinary malpractice, you must be able to show three things:
- The vet did not act with the reasonable skill or attention that would be expected of an ordinary reasonable veterinarian – Oftentimes you will need the expert testimony of other vets to prove that your vet fell below the standard of care.
- The vet’s actions must have been the cause of the pet’s injury – If your pet suffers from a known side effect of a procedure, you cannot sue the vet for malpractice even if he did perform the procedure in a negligent manner.
- Your pet must have suffered some injury – Simply showing negligence is not enough to prove malpractice. You must also show that the negligence caused some harm to you, such as emotional distress or economic loss.
What Kinds of Defenses Can a Veterinarian Raise in Response to a Malpractice Claim?
Veterinarians have several defenses available to them. The most common are:
- Statute of limitations – Veterinary malpractice claims must be brought within a certain period of time. If that period of time passes without a lawsuit being filed, you cannot sue no matter how obviously wrong or negligent the vet was. The statute of limitations for a malpractice claim varies from state to state but is generally shorter than for other personal injury claims.
- “Good Samaritan” – Some states recognize a “Good Samaritan” law that makes it so a vet is not held to the ordinary standard of care when he is acting in an emergency capacity. If a vet helps an animal at the scene of an accident, he may be safe from veterinary malpractice as long as he is not grossly negligent.
Should I Consult a Lawyer about My Veterinary Malpractice Issues?
If you believe you have been the victim of veterinary malpractice, you may wish to hire a malpractice lawyer. An experienced malpractice lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and offer you advice. If you have a strong case, a malpractice lawyer will be able to represent you in court and ensure your rights are represented.
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Last Modified: 11-30-2011 04:25 PM PST