Can we sue to havea previous vet pay for bills we had to pay a new vet because the first one didn’t properly treat our dog?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can we sue to havea previous vet pay for bills we had to pay a new vet because the first one didn’t properly treat our dog?

My dog broke her leg and we went to a vet. After a month or so they said that the leg was fixed but when she stepped on it she yelped. We went to another vet who showed that the leg was still broken.

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the first vet for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable vet would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty of due care mentioned above, breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by not properly treating your dog's broken leg), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for the first vet not treating your dog's broken leg, would you have incurred bills from the second vet?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening events which would relieve the first vet of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the amount of the bills from the second vet.  Depending on the amount, you may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages would include the amount of the bills from the second vet and court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  Prior to filing your lawsuit for negligence against the first vet, it may be possible to settle the case with the first vet's malpractice insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, proceed with your lawsuit for negligence against the first vet.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption