For medical doctors, the need for malpractice insurance is considered a given, as one lawsuit can have a devastating effect on a doctor’s career. Veterinarian insurance, although less ubiquitous, is needed for very similar reasons. Those who work in private practice must carefully consider the possibility of compromising their livelihoods if a lawsuit were to be filed against them with no coverage in effect. For those who have a staff of employees working under them, however, there is even more at stake in the event that a customer files a complaint seeking damages.
Caring for Man’s Best Friend
Like medical doctors, veterinarians often work in emotionally charged circumstances where they must make life and death decisions. Losing a beloved pet can be a traumatic experience, and the emotional factor often contributes to a customer’s decision to seek legal action. If a pet dies while under a veterinarian’s care, its owner may feel justified in blaming the practitioner.
If you work as an employee in a veterinary practice, your employer is legally liable for your actions – but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if a customer sues. If your employer doesn’t carry veterinarian insurance and is targeted in a lawsuit, any resulting settlement could jeopardize the practice – and with it, your career.
Types of Coverage
When investigating your employer’s coverage, it is important to be aware of the specific liabilities covered by each type of policy. General liability covers claims for damage or injury that occurs in the course of doing business with you, while professional liability covers issues of malpractice.
Before signing on with any employer, be sure to clarify how and to what extent you and the practice are covered in the event of a lawsuit.