Featured News 2014 What Is Veterinary Malpractice?

What Is Veterinary Malpractice?

Many people treat their pets as members of the family. As with any loved one, they want to make sure that their pet is being taken care of in the event of a medical emergency. If an error was made in the care of their animal that would not have been expected from another veterinarian with a similar level of knowledge and experience, it may veterinary malpractice.

Understanding Veterinary Malpractice

There is a difference between veterinary malpractice and negligence in veterinary care. Veterinary malpractice specifically concerns the training and experience of the vet. Negligence, or careless actions, can be attributed to anyone and does not necessarily constitute malpractice. For example, misdiagnosing a pet with an illness is medical malpractice while leaving a pet on a heating pad for too long is negligence. Knowing illnesses involves special skills and training, while forgetting to move a pet could happen to anyone caring for the animal.

A pet owner seeking to sue for veterinary malpractice must prove that:

  • The veterinarian acted carelessly or with incompetence; and
  • Their incompetence caused an injury for the animal.

When an owner can show that the veterinarian is liable for injuries to the animal, they may be able to receive compensation for the cost of treatment needed, the financial value of the pet, the sentimental value of the pet, any emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

If someone feels as though their animal has been injured as a result of veterinary malpractice, they have one to three years to file a lawsuit, although the sooner the better. If the pet was cared for at a government agency, a claim against the government must be made within 100 days before the lawsuit can be filed.

Truth be told, pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a beloved pet can be very challenging. With all the fees involved in going to court, the settlement that is received from the veterinarian will oftentimes be less than the amount spent. Veterinarians may have malpractice insurance and a pet owner may be able to settle with their insurance company for much more profitable costs by working with a skilled lawyer.

Related News:

Should You Declaw Your Cat?

Blog: If you are taking home a new kitten, one of the options available as a pet owner is whether or not to declaw your cat. Many people will declaw their cats due to concerns over scratching ...
Read More »

The Importance of Quarantining Your Animals During Illness

If your pet is ill and has a contagious disease, it is very important that you quarantine that animal from others that live in your home. When humans get infections, we are aware of the illness and ...
Read More »

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted disease in the world. This dangerous illness is caused by a spirochete, which is a type of bacteria. Lyme disease normally results in lameness ...
Read More »