Hi there, whether there is any negligence on the vet’s part will depend on whether what they did fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent vet in their position. Sometimes, there may be a difference of opinion between professionals and one would have done things differently to another – both are acceptable and not negligent. So you need to show that what yours did was clearly not something that any reasonably qualified vet would have done and it was serious enough to be considered negligent. The issue is that only vets can judge that so you need to gather some independent professional opinions on whether their actions were negligent when considered by another competent vet. If it is clear that this is the case, you can the consider pursuing them for compensation for any losses incurred as a result of their actions.
If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:
1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.
2. Letter before claim – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party should be sent a formal ‘letter before claim’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the money that is owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. If the letter before claim is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated.
For claims below £5,000 the Simple Procedure can be used. Please see here for further details:
For claims above £5,000, or more complex matters, the claim should be pursued through the Ordinary Cause. Please see here for further details:
Once you hear back from the court, you will send the details of the claim to the debtor, who will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the debtor that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.