Kristina Bergsten

What You Should Do if You Suspect Veterinary Malpractice

The Animal Law Firm’s Colorado Animal Attorneys in Denver and the surrounding areas want you to know what you should do if you suspect veterinary malpractice.

The first step is to get your veterinary records. Our Colorado Pet Lawyers recommend that you always get a copy of your pet’s records whenever you leave the veterinarian’s office, even for routine examinations. If you always have a history of your pet’s records before a problem arises, then there will no opportunity for your veterinarian to withhold and change records after you leave.

The second step is to get what is called a “necropsy” – if your pet passed away. DO NOT let the veterinarian who was treating your pet when your pet died do the necropsy. Get a third party to do it. There are ways to coordinate transferring the body. This must be done quickly – even if the body is frozen.

The third step is to call an experienced and ethical animal attorney to help walk you through the specifics of your case. This step usually requires the attorney sending the vet records you already collected to an experienced veterinarian for an opinion letter. If you are outside the state of Colorado and you need a veterinary opinion letter, please Google “Joey’s Legacy”, a veterinary malpractice advocacy group, and there you will find links and contact information to help you get in touch with experts and attorneys in your state. Even if you are not currently experiencing a malpractice situation, I would strongly encourage everyone to become a member because there are invaluable resources on Joey’s Legacy’s website that can help educate pet owners to prevent veterinary malpractice situations from arising.

The fourth step is to go to Colorado’s licensing website and look up your veterinarian’s license number and see if he/she has had any discipline in the past.

The fifth and final step, once you have all the pertinent information, is to decide whether you want to negotiate out of court, file a veterinary board complaint (in your state), or file a lawsuit. Your attorney can help walk you through this process and your options.

If you have lost a loved one to suspected veterinary malpractice, call Colorado’s Premier Animal Lawyers at the The Animal Law Firm at 303-623-4000 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.

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