If you suspect your veterinarian is responsible for either harming or, in the worst case scenario, killing your pet, we know that you’re likely dealing with lots of conflicting emotions.
You may feel anger, extreme sadness, guilt about not properly taking care of your pet, and a whole host of other things.
Above all, when a veterinarian makes a mistake, you want to what you can to seek justice.
But how exactly does veterinarian malpractice work, and what kinds of misdiagnoses and irresponsible operations are eligible?
Furthermore, how do you go about winning a lawsuit against your vet, especially when they’re an established member of your community?
Read on to find out.
The First Steps
When it comes to winning a lawsuit against your vet, there are certain immediate steps that you need to take to ensure that you’re able to build a solid case.
We know this is hard, but if the animal has died, refrain from having it buried or cremated.
Instead, make an appointment with another vet to have an animal autopsy performed on the remains.
This will help you to determine the official cause of death and to figure out if malpractice played any kind of a roll.
When you have this autopsy performed, be sure that you ask the vet if they would be willing to testify against the other vet if needed. Additionally, always make sure that you collect medical reports and any other documentation you may need to show to a lawyer.
Next, as soon as possible after the suspected malpractice, write your own detailed account of what happened at the vet’s office.
What kind of treatment or procedure was suggested? What were the dates of these visits and procedures? Was your pet prescribed any medication? Did you know these procedures were going to be performed, and were you informed of the possible risks? Did you notice any suspicious behavior?
Be sure to be as detailed as possible.
You might not think that veterinary malpractice requires a lawyer, but remember, you’re planning on suing your vet and the matter will very likely head to court.
In addition to gathering as much evidence as possible, you need to work with someone who can make the most out of that evidence.
Plus, especially if the vet responsible for the death or injury of your vet is reluctant to provide you with the necessary medical records, you want a lawyer to people able to do what they can to get them.
A legal professional with The Glover Law Firm can help you greatly when it comes to winning your case. They will assist you with filing the actual suit, collecting the required evidence, and even ensure that you have the best possible witnesses when it comes time for the trial.
They’ll also be able to serve your vet, walk you through the potential compensation you may be entitled to, and file a complaint with veterinary boards and agencies.
Especially since this case will likely be a highly emotional experience for you, it’s best not to go at it alone. You need someone familiar with the court proceedings, and someone who will be able to get the maximum punishment for the responsible veterinarian.
What To Do In Court
While a lawyer will certainly help you when it comes to winning a lawsuit against your vet, how you conduct yourself and the evidence that you’re able to provide will also be crucial.
You will be expected to attend pre-trial hearings as you can, so that you can determine what the trial will cover and when it will take place.
You may even attempt to settle your dispute with your vet out of court, meaning that you’ll never have to go to trial. You’ll be assigned a neutral third party, who will act as a kind of judge that will help the two of you to resolve things as amicably as possible.
However, be aware that arbitration is not always possible, and may not give you the kind of outcome you want.
In most cases, you should expect to head to trial.
You or your legal professional will need to deliver a powerful opening statement. This will help you to outline your overall case, allude to any evidence that you have, and inform the judge and jury as to the kinds of damages you plan to seek.
Be aware that you will likely be expected to testify, and that you and your lawyer will also need to work together to gather as many witnesses as possible.
This may be emotionally challenging, but is extremely effective when it comes to winning your case.
You’ll also need to prepare a closing argument, in which you and your lawyer review your case and attempt to sway the judge and jury to believe your side one final time.
Need More Advice On Winning A Lawsuit Against Your Vet?
As you can see from this post, winning a lawsuit against your vet is not always easy.
Often, the process will be long, emotional, and can certainly be difficult to do without the help of a legal professional.
However, when it comes to getting justice for your pet, we know that you have the tenacity needed to get the outcome you deserve.
Looking for additional information about what to expect in court? On the hunt for a more reliable vet after your past bad experience? Need more legal advice surrounding a variety of different cases and accidents?
We can help.
Spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about how to win your legal case and connect with the expert attorneys you need to make it happen.