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Why it is Important for Canadians With Mesothelioma to get Legal Representation Soon After Diagnosis

While Canadians with mesothelioma are entitled to compensation it is more difficult to process Canadian claims that those of our U.S. counterparts. Why is that?

Canadians are often not aware that compensation is available to them. Despite being subjected to endless television advertisements on cable TV, only one in three persons diagnosed with mesothelioma in Canada will put forward their injury claim, believing that those advertisements are for U.S. citizens only.

Because historically few Canadians have put forward claims there is a lack of recognized locations where asbestos is known to have been installed. Without the evidence of the injured party, the occupationally exposed person, or the user of the do-it-yourself asbestos product, claims cannot be documented. Undocumented claims are easy for the trust(s) to deny.

When we say personal evidence is required, we are not suggesting that you are required to undergo the burden of travelling to a U.S. court and testifying. Generally, the evidence can be provided in the form of a sworn statement. You tell us where, when and how you were exposed to asbestos in simple question and answer sessions. Sometimes this takes many conversations depending on your health and what documentation you may have retained. Over many years of handling asbestos claims, we have learned what questions to ask.

When your documentation is prepared, it is necessary for the documents to be notarized. This means that the injured party or occupationally exposed person must meet with a Notary to review the material and swear the contents.  If the injured party cannot travel, home or hospital visits need to be organized. Canada has many remote locations adding to the challenge meeting with a Notary poses.  Not everyone lives in a major city.  We need time to travel to meet with you. 

Medical records are needed to support your diagnosis. Work history information can be obtained from the Canada Pension Plan. While this does not seem like an onerous task, this process takes more time that you can imagine. With all of the technological advances available it is still necessary to send requests for this information by mail or courier with originally signed authorizations and cheques in pre-payment of fees. No fax, no credit card, no e-mail for these organizations!

Once all of the above has been completed, only then are we in a position to file claims. Dependent on the specific trust there may be a backlog of claims in the system ahead of yours causing further wait time. Wait time is out of our control and there may be thousands of claims waiting for review before your claim.   

The asbestos trusts are based in the United States and managed by Americans. Canadians are a very small percentage of claims reviewed by these organizations and we have spoken to trust employees who had never personally reviewed a Canadian claim before. Their knowledge of Canada is nil. For example, I was speaking with a trust employee during the devastating Fort McMurray wildfires and she asked me if we were under an evacuation order.  We are in Ontario!

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer. Time is precious. Contact Brown law office early to permit us to have the time to help you and your family obtain the compensation you are entitled to.  Let us put our experience and knowledge of the compensation process to work for you.