How to Protect Your Assets and Avoid Being Sued

October 13, 2016
VMD Staff

Larry Oxenham, senior advisor at American Society for Asset Protection (ASAP), outlines strategies veterinarians can take to protect their assets.

Larry Oxenham, senior advisor at American Society for Asset Protection (ASAP), outlines strategies veterinarians can take to protect their assets.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“The two things that I would say a veterinary practice must do to protect their assets is one: make sure all of their legal documents are current and up-to-date and make sure they do what they are designed to do. In other words, [veterinarians] need to understand what they’ve got.

The second way [veterinarians can protect their assets], and this may sound very, very simple, but it really is true: If patients and customers like you, they don’t sue you. Pay really close attention to customer service. Really go overboard to make your customers, your patients, and everybody else happy with you. Make people think that you really value their pets.

If there is one thing in America that would eliminate lawsuits, it’s that: people don’t sue who they like.

I will give you a good comparison. The medical industry has never caught on to the idea of giving service. Too many doctors treat patients as if they are a car. They treat them as an inanimate object. Whereas the dental industry, where there is probably more fear of going to a dentist than anything else in the country, the dentists have done a spectacular job of making their patients feel comfortable [and] bringing them into the process. Even though dentists are sued fairly often, they get sued far less because their customers don’t want to sue them because they like them. Whereas, very few people like the doctor. They respect them [and] they know they need them, but they treat them like a necessary evil. They like the dentist even if they are concerned about what is going to happen.

Make your people like you and you won’t get sued.”