Veterinary Negligence

The animals in our lives bring us so many different kinds of benefits, from comfort and companionship to financial gain. When providing treatment and advice, your vet owes you a duty of care. So, if your vet lets you down, you could be entitled to claim compensation for professional negligence.

At Tanners Solicitors, our professional negligence solicitors are highly experienced in making compensation claims against veterinarians and registered veterinary nurses in relation to all kinds of animals, including horses, dogs, cats, other domestic pets, and farm animals.

We advise animal owners across the Cotswolds, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Our clients also come to us from further afield, including London, for our expertise in this area. Whether you are a farmer or rural land owner who keeps animals for commercial purposes, you are a horse owner, a racehorse owner, or you are a pet owner, we are here to help.

We have handled various types of veterinary negligence claims over the years from the simple to the complex. We have particular expertise handling equine negligence claims and have a good understanding of the equine industry.

We understand that veterinary negligence can lead to tragic outcomes for you and the animals involved. In some cases, the animal may suffer permanent injury or even death. As well as the emotional pain of losing a beloved animal, the financial losses arising can be significant, for example, permanent injury to a horse or the loss of a pedigree animal intended for breeding.

Sadly, UK law does not presently allow people to recover compensation for the emotional loss of an animal or their personal suffering, nor for an aggravated or exemplary award of compensation. However, we can help you make a claim for the maximum financial compensation to which you are entitled.

If you would like to speak to one of our friendly, expert vet negligence lawyers in Cirencester, you can contact us in one of the following ways:

How our veterinary negligence solicitors can help

Your vet owes you a duty of care to exercise a reasonable standard of skill that you could expect from any vet with equivalent qualifications. If you can prove that the vet breached this duty and that such breach caused you financial loss, you can claim veterinary negligence compensation.

We have specialist experience handling veterinary negligence claims on behalf of animal owners across Cirencester and the wider Cotswolds, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire regions.

Although you cannot claim compensation for an animal’s pain and suffering, we will take all possible steps to achieve a positive outcome for you. The range of satisfactory outcomes we can potentially achieve include:

  • Compensation for financial loss
  • A full refund
  • An apology
  • An agreement that the vet will take steps to put the situation right, such as providing free corrective surgery or treatment

Our vet negligence solicitors can cover a wide range of negligence compensation claims including:

  • Misdiagnosis of an animal’s illness or injury
  • Delaying treatment
  • Failing to provide the correct treatment or administering inappropriate medication
  • Delayed response to an emergency call out
  • Carrying out negligent health checks, such as pre purchase checks for horses
  • Negligence during surgery
  • Failure to obtain informed consent, such as failing to properly advise you of the risks of surgery (where you would not have chosen that option had you been made aware of the risks)
  • Negligently allowing an animal to escape while in the vet’s care, leading to its injury or death
  • Unauthorised or negligent euthanisation, spaying or neutering

Examples of cases we can handle include:

  • Where a vet carries out a pre purchase exam for a horse and negligently certifies that it is healthy, resulting in a financial loss when the horse later exhibits foreseeable health concerns.
  • Providing negligent care to pregnant animals, such as horses, sheep, cattle and pedigree or ‘designer crossbreed’ dogs and cats, which result in death or injury to the mother and/or young.
  • Where a vet makes a mistake during an operation, such as leaving surgical instruments inside the animal’s body, leading to ongoing health issues and necessary treatment plans that are not covered by insurance (often referred to as ‘foreign object’ cases).
  • Incorrectly administering a drug during surgery that leads to the animal’s death.

Equine veterinary negligence

We have particular expertise in the specialist area of equine negligence and helping people claim compensation in relation to the negligent care and treatment of horses.

Our horse negligence solicitors have years of experience and close links with our community. So, you can take advantage of our connections with local industry specialists who can provide expert evidence to back up your claim and give you the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.

Our approach to veterinary negligence claims

We understand how deeply stressful and upsetting going through this kind of experience is, even without the prospect of going through legal proceedings.

Our aim is to help you reach a satisfactory outcome with minimal additional stress. We can assist you from the very moment you realise the negligence has occurred. This means we can support you through your vet’s formal complaints procedure and provide tailored, practical advice about your legal options throughout.

In many cases, we are able to help clients reach a settlement with their vet without any need for a compensation claim to court. However, we also have substantial litigation experience and can represent you through the court process where we have agreed it is the best course of action. Our service is fully inclusive and we can handle the administrative aspects of the claims process, as well as arranging expert evidence and liaising with witnesses on your behalf.

How do you prove veterinary negligence?

When you contact us, we will ask you some questions about the circumstances behind your potential professional negligence claim, provide clear advice about your prospects of success, and recommend a course of action.

Generally, veterinary negligence may arise where:

  • A vet or veterinary nurse owes you a duty of care – the expected standard of care is that which would be expected of a reasonable vet or vet nurse of an equivalent level of experience and skill.
  • The vet or vet nurse breaches their duty of care – their standard of care falls below what is expected of them, taking into account:
    • The professional’s level of expertise
    • The standards of the profession at the time the negligence took place
    • What is considered ‘best practice’ in the profession
    • Whether there is more than one accepted approach
  • The breach of duty must have caused a loss that was reasonably foreseeable.

How long do you have to make a veterinary negligence claim?

Typically, you will have six years from the date the negligence took place to start a professional negligence claim against a vet. However, it is important to start your claim early on to ensure that we can gather the required evidence and make your case as strong as possible.

Speak to our veterinary negligence solicitors in the Cotswolds

If you would like to speak to one of our friendly, expert veterinary negligence solicitors in Cirencester, you can contact us in one of the following ways: