How Best Farrier Can Help Protect Your Business From Legal Liability
Can legal actions be brought against a farrier by a horse owner? Sure they can. As your insurance company might say, people can sue for just about anything, so it’s something to think about. Most independent and small business people will never need to deal with this, but it’s still not a bad idea to be on guard.
One way to stay safe is to be known for excellent recordkeeping. This minimizes your vulnerability to blame for something you did not do, or events and conditions that are out of your control.
Vet Technology Is a Growing Factor.
In our high-tech times, vets have highly accurate diagnosis tools. It is easier to trace a horse’s lameness and pinpoint causes. Farriers may be more likely to be singled out for responsibility than in past decades.
But you might not be the only professional involved with the horse. For this reason alone, there should be an easy way to keep records of a horse’s condition each time you visit, showing the proof of a horse’s well-being or progress under your watch.
Our Mission is to Provide Technology That Supports Farriers.
The Best Farrier app makes it a simple process to take pictures and store them under a horse’s history in your app. Your ability to save hoof care photos easily from your smartphone camera to the app is protective: of your business reputation, and your hard-earned assets.
The app also automatically adds any work you do on the horse whenever you generate an invoice, so even if you don’t make any additional notes or take pictures, your visit — and the proof of the maintenance you performed — will still be documented.
Standards of Liability Work Both Ways.
Unless there is demonstrated negligence or deliberate harmful conduct, a farrier cannot be held liable.
On the other hand, a farrier who uses too much force to overpower a horse, or who made a serious error in shoeing or trimming, could potentially be held responsible to cover the veterinary costs. Trimming might cost only $50, but the costs of an alleged mistake can be much, much higher.
In a lawsuit, a court would decide whether the farrier did or did not use reasonable care in visits to the horse, based on evidence such as veterinary reports and pictures.
A Safe Farrier Adopts Self-Protective Habits.
All of these are smart moves:
- Document prior hoof and shoe conditions when beginning to work on a new horse, as a basis of comparison for all progress the horse makes – from the very beginning, and through each visit.
- Save records of your horses’ service histories.
- Communicate well with clients, so that they mention any potential issues and you can maintain a record of responses on both sides.
- Encourage strong, helpful communication with vets and clients – especially when a horse has a special condition.
Hold Your Horses… Or at Least Their Trimming and Shoeing Records.
With the Best Farrier app, months or even years after you worked on a horse, you’ll have your images and notes at your fingertips, and you’ll be able to retrace every service you performed on the horse. You can keep a complete thread of the horse’s data in one place, from the horse’s initial condition when you began the relationship with each client, through the continual care you have provided, and the progress the horse has made under that care.
Your notes, images, and communication records are securely stored in the app. You’ll be able to check your complete hoof care notes at any time in the future – even if you stop subscribing.
Protect Your Business.
Farrier and Owner
* Please note that I am not a lawyer, although I did consult with one for this article, so you should take all of the above as my own opinion as a layperson, not actual legal advice. For a professional advice on the subject of liability, you should talk to your lawyer.