In most cases, pet owners entrust veterinarians to diagnose, treat, and care for their fur babies to ensure their good health. However, a vet can make a mistake that results in the death of your beloved furry friend. This can be considered malpractice if the vet makes a fatal mistake or overlooked serious symptoms that resulted in the untimely death of your pet. Proving malpractice is a complicated issue, but there are certain steps that you can take if you think that the vet made an irreversible mistake.
Unfortunately, sometimes animals die at the hands of those responsible for their wellbeing. According to the law, anyone who intentionally kills an animal is liable to pay financial compensation to the owner. However, there are exceptions to this, such as in cases of self-defense against vicious attacks. If you are certain that your beloved pet has died due to negligence of any kind, you will need to prove it. Read on to learn what to do if you suspect that there has been careless mishandling of your pet that resulted in its death.
Lodge a Formal Complaint to the State Veterinarian
You must talk to your vet first to get finer details of what could have transpired. Vets are professionals who are expected to uphold high ethical standards in their operations. They also know the implications of malpractice, so try to get clarification on the issue concerning the death of your pet. However, if the vet is not cooperative, you can send a complaint to the state veterinary licensing board. The state licensing boards have the authority and power to suspend or even revoke the vet’s license. This rarely happens, but it is good to raise a complaint to prevent the occurrence of similar cases in the future.
Consult a Lawyer
It is a good idea to seek professional legal advice if you are dealing with a case that involves negligence. New York-based expert injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates explain that hiring a professional lawyer will ensure you have someone by your side who is committed to helping you get the justice you deserve. It is crucial to talk to an attorney experienced in property damage claims, animal law, and personal injury law. A good lawyer explains how the law applies to your particular situation and the legal options available to you. With the help of a lawyer, you will also be able to comply with your state’s statute of limitations for filing property damage claims.
Negotiate a Settlement
With the help of your attorney, you can negotiate a settlement with the person who has killed your case. If the vet accepts responsibility, they will be open for negotiations. In some cases, a vet can even ask for forgiveness which could provide closure to the issue. If another ordinary person is responsible for killing your pet, you can still use the same approach to negotiate a settlement.
Pursue the Case in Small Claims Court
The other option that you can consider is to pursue the case in a small claims court. The primary benefit of choosing this route is that you do not require a lawyer to represent you like in other courts of law. Small claims courts are quicker in handling claims which can be another plus for using this channel. Recoveries from veterinary malpractice are complicated. If you are lucky to get compensation, the amount will be smaller than what you can get from a conventional court of law.
Sue the Offender in Court of Law
You can also consider suing the offender in a court of law if you have a strong case against them. Under animal law, a pet is viewed as property, and you have a legal right to sue for compensation if it is killed. However, if you want to win a negligence case, you must prove the following four things:
- Duty of care – you must prove that the vet accepted the responsibility to look after your pet
- Breach – the vet’s actions were below professional standards
- Proximate cause – the actions of the wrongdoer caused the death of your animal
- Damages – prove the damages that you have experienced apart from losing your pet
The most challenging thing is to prove a “breach” in a case involving veterinary malpractice. It is essential to engage with your attorney when dealing with this kind of lawsuit.
Pets are the best companion to many people, so losing yours under unclear circumstances should not go unpunished. If you suspect that your pet died due to negligence, you can seek compensation from the offender. This type of claim can be devastating and complicated, so you ought to hire a specialized lawyer to make the best decisions moving forward.