Success Stories
Image: Success Story: Ana Villanueva

Success Story: Ana Villanueva

If Ana knew that her decade-long journey fighting an unknown illness, and her eventual diagnosis with Lyme Disease, was only the prelude to an even bigger battle with her insurance company, she may have given up. Luckily, she persisted every day to find answers and get help.

Chronic Symptoms

When Ana came to Share Lawyers, she was 45 years old and had been off work for almost two years. Ana had left her job as a paralegal because she had been plagued by a range of symptoms that had persisted for almost eight years and become progressively worse. They included blurred vision, brain fog, severe muscle soreness and tingling, and incontinence. She described it as a “flu that never ends. ”Ana was living without an income because her insurance company had denied her claim for benefits a total of three times. In fact, she had been forced to sell her house and move in with her retired parents to make ends meet.

Insufficient Medical Evidence

Ana’s insurance company had denied her claim repeatedly because her doctors couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with her. She had debilitating symptoms, but no apparent cause. Two general physicians; one rheumatologist; countless physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors and an endless battery of tests and pain killers couldn’t give Ana answers or respite from her symptoms. She had even visited a psychologist on the advice of her family doctor to prove it wasn’t “all in her head”. Ana felt she was getting the run around from the medical community and her insurance company. Her own family was even beginning to look at her with doubt.

Taking Matters Into Her Own Hands

Ana started to do her own research and came across a medical study about Lyme Disease. After reading the list of symptoms, it all clicked! Ana couldn’t recall if she had ever gotten a tick bite that could have infected her with Lyme, nor had she ever had the classic “bull’s eye” rash, or any rash, for that matter, to signify Lyme transmission. She had no clear way of attributing her symptoms to Lyme, but she didn’t give up. Ana arranged a Western Blot test from the U.S. and sent it back for analysis at her own expense. She broke down in tears when she received the results. Finally, an answer! She had tested positive for Lyme.

How Share Lawyers Helped

Most Canadian doctors are not familiar with Lyme disease and have not been trained to recognize it, so one of the biggest challenges with Ana’s case against her insurance company was to compile strong medical evidence in support of her new found diagnosis. The legal team at Share Lawyers decided it was in Ana’s best interest to send her for a medical assessment with a Lyme literate doctor who couldprovide a strong report documenting her condition.The assessment, coupled with another Western Blottest, confirmed that Ana had late-stage Lyme. Since she had lived with Lyme for so many years without successful antibiotic treatment in the early stages, the disease had progressed into a chronic and devastating disease.

A Substantial Settlement And A New Start

With Lyme-literate doctors and lawyers rallying around her, Ana finally had the support she needed. She was grateful to the lawyers and staff at Share Lawyers for being so knowledgeable abou ther disease and empathetic to her symptoms. Approximately one year since the day Ana visited Share Lawyers for a free consultation, her case was settled successfully. Today, Ana is receiving appropriate treatment and feels better than she has in years. She used her settlement money to purchase the home of her dreams. Her next goal is to return to work on a gradual basis.

*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.

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A note from our long term disability lawyers

Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.

If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.

Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through

We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.

Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf

Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.

If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.

Our disability claim lawyers fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands with 35 years of success on your side.


In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.


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