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Veterinary liability: what to do after a treatment error?

Veterinary liability: what to do after a treatment error?


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It is every pet owner's nightmare: a mistake by the veterinarian. Veterinary liability exists if such an error can be proven. You can find out what this means and how you can behave in such a case here. Even with the greatest of care, the veterinarian can accidentally experience treatment errors - Shutterstock / La India Piaroa

Veterinarians are also human and unfortunately can sometimes be wrong. But what are the criteria for a treatment error and veterinary liability?

What counts as a treatment error by the veterinarian?

A malpractice or malpractice by the veterinarian is present if he has not complied with the rules of veterinary art. Adequate treatment of the pet is called "lege artis" in Latin and fortunately is the rule. However, occasionally a veterinarian may make mistakes while doing so, for example by prescribing wrong or unnecessary medication because he was wrong in the diagnosis. An unnecessary operation can also be considered a treatment error if something happens to the animal.

In addition, treatment errors are mentioned when the veterinarian has worked with cannulas and instruments that were not hygienically clean and subsequently caused inflammation in the animal. In addition, the veterinarian is obliged to provide you, the pet owner, with sufficient information about the diagnosis, treatment and possible risks. If he fails to do this and your animal feels worse in the course of the treatment, this can also justify veterinary liability. In any case, in the event of a suspected medical error, contact a lawyer to check veterinary liability.

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Veterinary liability: what does that mean?

As soon as a veterinarian agrees to examine and treat your pet, a contract is concluded between the two of you. This means that the veterinarian will use all his skills and knowledge to make your pet feel better. Unfortunately, some ailments are not curable, but can be alleviated; a veterinarian can therefore not commit himself to the full recovery of the animal patient, but only to do his best to at least stabilize or improve the state of health. Your side of the contract states that you pay for the treatment - the costs are based on the so-called fee schedule for veterinarians (GOT).

Under veterinary liability, you can claim compensation for a medical error - the best way to measure it is to discuss it with a lawyer. However, except for very serious treatment errors, you must demonstrate that the veterinarian is to blame if the treatment did not produce the desired result. You may be able to ask the vet to make up for his mistake or to pay the cost of treatment to another vet.