There is no doubt that when a client challenges your professional integrity and competence with a malpractice lawsuit, it creates doubt in your mind about your own capabilities, not to mention severe stress. It is easy to see from the law reports that too many veterinarians have been poorly represented by lawyers who, at the very least, have an inadequate understanding of standards of care, veterinary medicine, veterinary law and the legal test for negligence. Many of these lawyers have been appointed by insurance companies on behalf of the insured veterinarian. Even the most experienced and competent solicitor is going to be short on veterinary knowledge. It requires a specific, dedicated organization like the VDA to fill this gap. The VDA works side by side with competent solicitors to provide VDA members with a formidable defence team.
The effective management of malpractice litigation starts with THE EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF INCIDENTS. If the incident was not effectively managed in the first place, then the chances of a successful later defence of a malpractice lawsuit are diminished. If you made an error at the time of the incident, the time to fix the error (and/or compensate the owner) is at that time. A veterinarian who does not pay proper attention to owner grievances at the time may find themselves on the wrong side of a court judgement.
The VDA provides support and assistance to its members in Asia to limit the dangers of a malpractice claim, but does not supply legal representation or cover for costs.