Malpractice refers to professional negligence. There are various kinds of malpractice, medical, legal, financial and many more. However, in this article we will only be discussing medical malpractice in reference to veterinary.
In medical malpractice claims can be brought against a doctor or other healthcare provider who fails to exercise the degree of care and skill that a similarly situated professional of the same medical specialty would provide under the circumstances.
- Professional negligence actions require a professional relationship between the professional and the person claiming to have been injured by malpractice.
For example: If your lawyer fails to give you a better advice or provides a wrong legal representation. You can sue the said lawyer provided that you had an attorney-client relationship to begin with.
- It is also important the person making a malpractice claim must prove both that the professional committed an act of culpable negligence and that the person suffered injury as a result of the professional’s error.
- In addition to this, one needs to establish that a standard duty of care was taken or not. This could very much work on a doctor’s defense.
Meaning that if a doctor takes all necessary precautions and yet the patient does not survive a surgery, the same cannot be called as malpractice or negligence. As such there are many instances in which doctors can take defenses to avoid being sued.
Medical malpractice regulation in the United States of America is originated from the British Common law, and the same was established by judgments in several courts. Medical malpractice claims are a comparatively frequent phenomena in the United States. The legal system is designed to encourage extensive discovery and negotiations between adversarial parties with the goal of resolving the dispute without going to jury trial.
Now, in reference to veterinary malpractice, it has similar essentials. In cases there has to be a veterinarian who harms an animal due to incompetence, misconduct, or negligence. “But not all medical errors are malpractice, and the fact that an animal’s condition got worse after treatment doesn’t necessarily mean that the vet is liable for malpractice. For example: And if an owner brings a pet to a vet but never returns, the vet isn’t responsible for feeding and caring for the animal indefinitely. Many states have laws that set out a procedure for vets to follow under these circumstances.”
Reiterating the essential in terms to prove veterinary malpractice in a court of law, a pet owner must prove four things:
- “The vet accepted responsibility to treat the animal
- The vet failed to meet professional standards for care
- The animal was killed, injured, or became sicker as a result of the vet’s inability or carelessness, and
- As a result of that injury, the animal’s owner experienced some kind of harm (or “damages”).
Depending on each case, experts are called upon to establish or re ascertain facts. In addition to which, there are cases where it is obvious that the doctor has been negligent. Due to which there is no requirement for an expert to establish the veterinarian’s liability. The same for which in law, there is a legal maxim called “res ipsa loquitor” meaning that “things speaks for itself”. For example: Where a veterinarian operates solely on basis of his judgement, without consulting additional doctors in serious cases, or leaves injects a wrong needle in the injured or sick animal leading to serious infection.
As stated, earlier doctors or veterinarians can have many defenses at their disposal. One among the other is your “Statute of Limitations”. A statute of limitations are statute’s that stipulate and propose a time period, within which one needs to file their suit. For example: In certain torts, the time period is usually three years. “With veterinary injury cases, the applicable statute of limitation may be based on claims for injury to personal property, as domestic animals are considered personal property of the owner (usually two to three years). For states that include veterinarians under the list of professions covered by malpractice statutes, they may be based upon statutes that set time limits for malpractice. Significantly, the manner in which a plaintiff asserts his or her claim (i.e., whether he or she claims common negligence or malpractice) may dictate the statute of limitations. This may then result in a claim being barred for a plaintiff if the veterinarian raises this defense. A veterinarian may also claim the defense of ” Good Samaritan ,” in which he or she has rendered care in an emergency situation. Here, veterinarians may only be liable for gross negligence.”
Sadly, in many veterinary malpractice cases, there is a substantial paucity of monetary compensation to the owner. For many pet owners, pet means to them more than an animal but a companion for life. Legal action often serves as an assurance to the suffering party that justice will be served for those who cannot talk about their problems or pain. It is necessary that pet owners are cautious and possess certain legal knowledge. For more information contact @Layman Litigation.
 Malpractice - Wikipedia  Marcus, Paul (1981). "Book Review of Medical Malpractice Law: A Comparative Law Study of Civil Responsibility Arising from Medical Care"  "An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States"  An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States - PMC (nih.gov)  Can I Sue My Vet for Malpractice? | Nolo  Refer Footnote 5.  Brief Summary of Veterinary Malpractice | Animal Legal & Historical Center (animallaw.info)