Leading The Evolution Of Animal Law
Veterinary malpractice is arguably the most rapidly evolving area in animal law. However, even though a growing body of state statutes and common laws are utilizing medical malpractice concepts when there is a veterinary malpractice occurrence, the damages and compensatory system for medical malpractice are difficult to apply, especially for family pets, in the veterinary context where animals are legally classified as property. However, as societal values change, and animals are increasingly treated as family members, the courts must follow old common laws, find good faith reasons to modify them or wait for legislative enactments.
As a respected leader and recognized pioneer in the area of animal law, attorney Barbara J. Gislason is uniquely qualified to represent clients involved in veterinary malpractice cases. Contact Barbara for informed advice and guidance in any of the following types of cases involving negligence or errors:
- Animal surgery mistakes
- Failure to monitor
- Veterinary malpractice resulting in paralysis
- Animal wrongful death
Having met many clients concerned about veterinary malpractice, Barbara will review the animal's history in depth, and the client's experience with one or more veterinarians to help the owner determine if there may be liability. She will also discuss how courts differentiate human and animal suffering.
Veterinary Malpractice Damages
In medical malpractice, compensatory damages address monetary losses that range from lost wages and rehabilitation expenses to medical expenses, as well as other out-of-pocket losses resulting from the injury. In contrast, economic damages for loss or injury to animals are the animal's fair market value or replacement cost and may also include reasonable veterinary costs, and in some cases, out-of-pocket investments in the animal.
Some judgments have reflected the "unique value" of a dog to the owner. In one such case, a man was awarded $30,000 for the loss of his mixed breed dog and $9,000 for veterinary bills. However, in veterinary malpractice cases, non-economic losses are difficult to establish, although cases are emerging around the country that permit an award of non-economic damages when there is property loss.
Contact Minnesota Animal Law Attorney Barbara J. Gislason
The first obstacle in a veterinary malpractice case is determining whether the veterinarian will be held to a professional standard similar to the standards in medical malpractice. Barbara will carefully assess your case and let you know if you may have a malpractice claim. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable veterinary malpractice attorney as soon as possible, as there are statutes of limitations for these types of legal actions.
Call the Law Office of Barbara J. Gislason at 763-220-2983 or toll free at 800-491-6432 to arrange a consultation, or email the firm to arrange a reduced fee consultation.