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Can I file a lawsuit against my veterinary office?

Asked by user in Florida.

They did not secure my dog in a safe area. When the door opened to the outside, my dog ran out and ran away. She is my emotional support dog.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

Generally speaking, you can sue your veterinary office for negligence if their carelessness caused you damages. You can learn more about proving negligence in Florida here.

From what you’ve told me, it sounds like you may have a valid negligence claim. Keep in mind, however, that the damages you can recover for the death or loss of your dog are limited to the “fair market value” of your dog. In other words, you can’t recover the subjective value of your pet (i.e., what your pet is worth to you) in Florida. For this reason, a lawsuit might not be cost effective in this situation.

Nevertheless, if you wish to pursue a lawsuit, you might consider filing the claim in small claims court or seeking free legal help if you qualify.

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