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About Maeder Law Firm

The Maeder Law Firm has been located in Wausau Wisconsin for over 50 years in the same building.

We are located right across from the Marathon County Courthouse. The Maeder Legal Team is frequently found in those courtrooms attacking the insurance companies and using their trial skills to defeat them. Wausau is a hub city because of its central location in the state with all major highways connecting there, allowing the Team to travel conveniently to other courthouses throughout Wisconsin. There is a major airport in Wausau which gives them the ability to fly to courthouses throughout the country. Over the years, the team has had personal injury cases throughout the nation, including Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee, New York, and others.

The law office is “state of the art” with the latest computers, website, software; and the finest computer-driven case management systems so the client files are kept in minute-to-minute order and instantly accessible. This gives the Team the ability to call up the latest memo, medical report, engineering reconstruction, photographs of accident scenes, etc. from any location. These facts are instantly at hand whether or not the Team is at the office, in the courthouse, in a mediation settlement conference, at home preparing for the next legal confrontation, or on the road.

The Team is supported by a staff of highly trained paralegals who are sworn to secrecy and who take pride in themselves and our team. They recognize that their future is dependent on the satisfaction of each client and are well rewarded with great salaries and the best benefits available. Furthermore, they are part of the Team’s family and they know it.

We Get the Highest Settlements

We get the highest settlements as a result of our track records with the insurance companies. They don’t want to meet tough trial lawyers in the courtroom because this kind of publicity exposes their shenanigans and ruses. The trial of a case shows how devious, and to what lengths they will go, so that innocent victims are deprived of their just compensation. We have found that the insurance companies (whether damages are from fire, liability, homeowners, etc.) believe they are being paid large monthly premiums to feather their own nests, rather than fairly restoring accident victims or compensating them for their loss. The only moral justification for an insurance company’s existence is to “pay the money forward” for losses sustained by the persons who have paid their premiums. This is not some philosophical concept, but is the written contract they have signed when they take your money. Somehow, they’ve lost the concept that the only justification for this huge drain on an individual’s budget is to hold this money in trust to help heal injured persons and pay for damages caused by accidents. Instead, they have substituted their bottom line as a business model and for their own success. So, while they have a contractual and moral duty to pay claims, they really don’t intend to do so without the threat of a firm of lawyers, like the Maeder Law Firm, to force their hand.

We destroy Insurance Company Experts

Much of today’s litigation and claims become a “battle of experts” between truth and deception. We have found in our years of experience in cross-examining defense experts that many of them are driven not by the truth but by their dedication to the insurance company’s defense of the claim. In one case a much-used defense neurologist testified that our client was not injured in the accident. What our cross-examination demonstrated was that this expert was “bought and paid for”. He admitted that in all of his many prior physical examinations of claimants for the insurance companies he had never found that the injured person was really injured. When we dug deeper we found that his explanation was “because the cases he received had been ‘screened” before he was retained to look at the case and that the insurance company “only sent him persons who were not injured”. The expert was devastated before the jury when he admitted that these cases were “screened” by the defense attorney! The jury actually laughed at him when he made this damaging admission. The jury awarded the client a large verdict.

In a recent case the insurance company claimed that the accident involved such a minor rear-end impact that there was no scientific basis for a possible injury to our client. It produced a “west coast biomechanical engineer” who had a national reputation for destroying plaintiff’s cases in minor impact motor vehicle accidents. A biomechanical engineer is trained in the science of “body mechanics” which is a study of the strength of human bones, tissue, body parts, and organs. They analyze the damage done to the human anatomy by outside forces generated during a motor vehicle accident. They study the statistics generated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) tests on dummies and human volunteers over the years. Some of these experts have taken this science and claim to be able to apply these statistics to highway accidents so they can testify that a claimant was not injured because the G-loads developed by the impact were insufficient to cause injury. They compute the Delta-V, which is the pulse of the actual impact, and use this to extrapolate data to prove their point. We did an extensive investigation of this “hot-shot” expert’s background and at the trial showed the jury that, in his own state trial courts, he had been barred from testifying by some of the judges because of the junk science that he was “peddling to the jury”. Our jury rejected his testimony and awarded our client a substantial verdict.

The Winning Strategy is 'The Truth'
We practice law on the basis of “the truth”. We know from our vast jury experience that jurors, if unbiased and fairly chosen, have the ability to find the truth. We only take and prosecute cases that are based on the truth. Indeed, we worship the truth, not only because we have been raised to be that way, but we know that it is the only way to win. We encourage our clients and others to serve with pride when called upon to be a juror; it is a “hands-on” way to be personally involved in “doing justice” and to participate in a significant process of our democracy as a citizen of the greatest nation in the world. The right to a trial by jury is the most precious and valuable right that we have against the tyranny of the powerful over the weak, against the over-zealous prosecutors and the innocent and is the most valuable right we have. It is what makes our legal system the best in the world.
We Know about and expose the Insurance company's tricks
One of the first traps to avoid is to give the insurance company a written or taped statement. This is when you are most vulnerable. We find that they frequently will not take it down accurately or will spin it against you. With no knowledge of the law, you don’t know that what you were encouraged by them to say will damage your case and you will fail to realize that they have actually misquoted you so as to bury the truth. For instance, in a case where you negligently drove your car off a slick road and your wife and children were seriously injured; you have a duty to make sure they get the full benefits of the liability policy. The insurance adjuster however spins the claim against you as a challenge to your personal integrity and suggests that if you admit your carelessness you have let your family down because it was your fault that they now suffer. Of course, the opposite is true. If you are not at fault, you and your family will suffer financial disaster the insurance company will not pay a dime. You will have deprived your family of the financial support they needed when they most needed it. The law recognizes that all of us are careless without meaning harm and that is the basis for the entire insurance industry taking billions of dollars per year from the motoring public. The only legitimate basis for this business model and for the insurance company drain on our budgets, is that the companies should then hold this money “in trust” to pay it back when one of us makes a mistake and harms someone, including our own family.

An example. A young daughter allowed one of the passengers in her father’s car to drive during a trip to a high school football game. Unknown to the daughter, the girl who crashed the car and injured her, did not have a driver’s license. Insurance policies, by statute, must cover everyone who drives the car as long as they have the permission of the owner to do so. This is true regardless of whether the driver is licensed or not. In this case, the insurance adjuster hired a court reporter and went to the seriously injured daughter’s hospital bed and while she was still in great pain and under medication, got a sworn transcript where she stated that her father had told her not to allow an unlicensed driver to ever operate the car. This statement was untrue but the adjuster got this 16-year-old daughter to say this by telling her that if she did not say it, she was guilty of a crime by permitting an unlicensed driver to drive. Refusing to pay the daughter’s large medical bills, thereby bankrupting the family, the insurance company caused the father to seek the help of the Maeder Team. We proved the lies the adjuster had told this vulnerable and innocent young girl and the jury threw out the sworn statement and found coverage. The case went to the Wisconsin Supreme Court two times before the insurance company finally paid in full. It is this kind of tenacious and unrelenting momentum that the Team has, that has won the admiration of the legal community and courts. They know that our clients get justice.

Another trap is to go on social media and discuss your case or your family’s problems resulting from the accident. The comments you post are accessible and some courts will order you to divulge your password so that these comments can be obtained by the insurance companies. The comments that support your case will not be admissible in court but any demeaning or questionable comments will be spun around by the defense to your detriment.

Another trap is to keep a “diary” of your life. It is amazing to the Team that some well-meaning, but totally clueless law firms require their clients to keep track of their daily activities in writing. Such a record can be obtained by the defense, so don’t do it. The good stuff cannot be used to support your case and the information that you don’t want to be divulged will be divulged. An apparently innocent comment, such as how much you enjoyed playing ball with your children, will be twisted around in court to attack your honest claim that you have a chronic back problem because of injuries sustained in the accident.

Another trap is to trust the insurance company. The adjuster will represent to you that he is your friend and that he will treat you honestly and fairly. An example is a family that had a minor child injured in a crash. The child had very serious head injuries that will impact her life forever. Because of her minor status, it was necessary to get a court to approve the settlement for it to be binding. In these cases, the insurance company will actually hire an “independent” lawyer for the child to be his/her guardian ad litem (a minor’s legal representative) to review the case and advise the court if it is a “fair and just settlement”. You do the math, what do you think the lawyer will do when he/she reviews the inadequate amount offered, if this lawyer is actually the lawyer who also does all of this insurance company’s defense business and when the amount the insurance company pays this firm per year for its defense work is a large part of its total income? While courts try to carefully screen these cases to determine if the settlement is fair, the stage is set for a bad result. In these cases no lawyer has gone out and obtained another medical opinion to challenge whether the child’s head injury really has permanently damaged her or not, no one has suggested waiting for several years to see if the CHI (closed head injury) has really damaged the child’s “executive functions” that will only be able to be determined later after her brain develops. No one has sent the child to a psychologist to give her the necessary tests to see if, while there is no objective damage on the MRI, there is actual brain damage that will gradually over the years lead to her total or partial disability. In these cases, the insurance company had tied the hands of the lawyer they have hired to represent the child by preventing any pro-active efforts on his/her part and the court itself has no power to force the proper medical and legal development of the case. The child and ultimately the parents will suffer the consequences of this failure to understand that while you are taking responsibility for your child’s future, you are not really equipped to do so without the Maeder Team on your side.

Eliminate Uninsured and Underinsured tricks designed to Victimize you
This trap is frequently laid by the insurance companies in cases where you are making a claim against your own company because of the “uninsured” (UM) and “underinsured” (UIM) coverage that you have paid for. Today many motorists have minimal limits, as low as $25,000 in some states. Regardless of how injured you are, that is the total amount you can get because the person driving has no assets and can go through bankruptcy for as little as $1,000 and discharge any debt he/she owes to you. This is why you want to have large UM and UIM coverage on your own vehicle. However, you will find that when you make such a claim your own insurance company will take advantage of you. The adjuster will encourage you to believe that because you are their “valued insured” they will “take care of you”. This is not true, the adjuster and his claims manager all the way to the top executives will take advantage of you even if you have been with the company for decades. These employees are motivated by one principle: to settle the claim for a little as possible.

It is your duty to stop these tricks designed to victimize you. Hire the Maeder Legal Team. You will no longer have to “justify” making a claim against your own insurance company, you will be empowered to know that you paid for this coverage, and you are going to get every dime the company owes you. Some people believe that if you make a claim you will not be able to get insurance in the future or that your rates will go up. This is the propaganda spread by the adjusters and is not true. The insurance policy is a contract, you owe the company premiums but it owes you the duty to treat you fairly and honestly. The Team will make sure the company honors its commitment to you and those you love, every time.

A network of experts at our disposal

We have the financial ability to hire experts and the knowledge to use them effectively. Much of today’s claims depend on experts to exploit the science involved in the dynamics of the accident itself and in the medicine involved in the injured person’s disability. These experts are physicians, chiropractors, psychiatrists, accident reconstruction engineers, human factors engineers, biomechanical engineers, surveyors, automotive designers, product liability experts, construction engineers and construction equipment experts, truck driving instructors, construction specialists such as roofers, pavement contractors and building contractors. The experts can be highly placed in the universities as a professor or can be journeymen workers who know their craft better than the ordinary practitioner. These experts must be paid to go and examine the facts of the case pertaining to their field and give an honest and detailed analysis of two issues: 1. How did the accident happen and 2. How could it have been prevented.

To know when an expert is required and who to hire for the job is, in itself, a challenge. Sometimes they are from California or Texas or as close to home as a local carpenter who knows how to build stairs according to the city building code. The one thing they all have in common is, they cost money. They demand to get paid “upfront” so that there is no implication that their opinion is “for sale” but is an objective, informed, and honest one. The Team has the knowledge of who these experts are and the financial resources to pay them. The team has used experts from virtually every known category of scientific and practical area of the personal injury business and has the day-to-day experience to know when an expert is required. Our promise: if the case needs an expert we will get the right one and the best one available. We also have the trial ability to produce these experts in front of the jury. We know how to develop their testimony with the necessary written and sometimes animated exhibits to show the jury, by photographs, videos, and drawings the factual situation presented to you during the accident. This will give the jury a full explanation of the hazard that you had to deal with and which injured you and changed your life forever. The insurance company will be presented with these exhibits during the settlement negotiations and at the mediation so that it knows what it will be facing if the case is tried and will understand what will happen if they don’t settle before trial. They know that they will have to pay for and hire their own experts and will have to pay their lawyers to produce their own competing exhibits if they are going to face this kind of attack. The Maeder Legal Team has a saying: “don’t prepare for settlement – always prepare for trial”. This means hard work at every stage of the claims process but it is what the Team routinely does. The work ethic pays off, the insurance company knows it must pay “top dollar” for your claim or it will suffer the consequences of a jury verdict and the resulting publicity. It does not want that. It wants to settle.

Our promise to you: we will drill down on your case until we have exploited every possible and legitimate angle so that we give you the best shot at a fair settlement or verdict. We will perform at the level we are rated at: the very best.

We know how to avoid the legal traps: Comparative Negligence Law of Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a comparative negligence statute which means that a jury must find you are no more negligent than the defendant, i.e. the person who injured you, to recover. If you are found more negligent, you lose. The jury is instructed by the judge to answer a “special verdict” which consists of usually 6 or more questions which ask about the negligence of the defendant and the plaintiff (you) and then asks the jury to compare your and the defendant’s negligence taking 100% as to total negligence in the case. What the jury does not know (and the judge or the lawyers cannot tell it) is that if the jury finds the plaintiff more than 50% negligent the plaintiff does not get a dime. If the plaintiff is as negligent or less negligent than the defendant then the plaintiff recovers the amount awarded to him/her, less the amount of negligence found on the plaintiff. As an example, assume the jury awarded the plaintiff $100,000 but found him 60% negligent he would not get any money. However, if they found he was 40% negligent (and of course the defendant 60%) then he would receive $100,000 reduced by 40% or a net recovery of $60,000. Other states for the most part have adopted Wisconsin’s comparative negligence law but have varied it so that in two aspects they are different: one, the court, and lawyers advise the jury as to the effect of the law and two, the law is less punitive. Most of the states have a “pure” comparison, i.e. there is no 50% or 51% bar to recovery, if the plaintiff we discussed above is 60% negligent, he will still receive $40,000.

This fact of legal life is important because it is a prime consideration not only in jury trials but in the settlement of claims. It is this ultimate truth that drives the judgment of value both for the insurance companies but also the plaintiffs’ lawyers who specialize in this work. While all of them know this law very few of them have had a tremendous amount of jury trial experience the Team has. We know and recognize these “contributorily negligent” factual situations and know how to find and reveal the real “truth” of a case, so as to accurately portray the conduct of our clients. An example, the Mall Store where you shop denies your claim on the basis that you were “contributorily negligent” because you failed to see the water on the floor and that your slip and fall was due to your “failure to keep a proper lookout”. However, what it has failed to acknowledge and weigh in its assessment of your claim is the fact that the store maintained an attention-demanding display of its products at the same place you fell that caught your eye and caused you not to perceive the hazard. After the photographs of this display and this argument was pressed by the Team, the insurance company paid, realizing that the jury will know and the Team will tell it, “the store made the sale of its goods a priority over customers’ safety” and that “profit and greed cannot trump the lives and health of our citizens.”

In a poorly guarded machine, the man’s hand was mauled. The machine’s manufacturer defended claiming that it had adequately guarded the machine. After examining the machine the Team found that the guard that was placed on the machine was a total failure, the manufacturer had placed the guard at the wrong part of the machine, not where the operator actually had to feed the parts into it. The Team then hired the machine design experts to prove this and when the manufacturer “saw the light” it paid. In fact in that case the defense lawyer, an exceptional one, said “we failed to see what was in plain sight but thanks to you we will now change all of the machines to prevent this from happening again.” The old legal adage, “it is better to have a fence at the top of the cliff than to have an ambulance below” applies to this case and many more like it.

Bradley D. Myska

Trial Attorney

Bradley (“Brad”) Myska is a trial attorney with the Jerome A. Maeder, S.C. Firm with over 18 years of experience. His practice is in personal injury and worker’s compensation claims.
As a native of the Wausau area, Attorney Brad Myska is dedicated and committed to helping the community he grew up in. He is an accomplished trial lawyer in the field of personal injury and worker’s compensation.

Personal Injury  / Worker’s Compensation

An Honest and Aggressive Trial Attorney

Brad is proud to be a personal injury trial lawyer. In the courtroom, he has built a solid reputation as an honest and aggressive trial attorney who has little patience with the insurance company’s attempts to spin the facts of a case. He has the ability to pierce through the sham defenses insurance companies present to the jury and win in the courtroom.

Jerry Maeder always called Brad “The Bulldog” because Attorney Myska never backs down when standing up for his clients.

Professional Background
  • Admitted to Bar, 2002, State of Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point (B.S., 1998)
  • Marquette University Law School (J.D., 2002)
Experience
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • Circuit Courts throughout Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Court of Appeals
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court

Benjamin C. Welch

Trial Attorney

Benjamin (“Ben”) Welch is a trial attorney that has been with the Jerome A. Maeder, S.C. Firm for 15 years. His practice is in personal injury and worker’s compensation. He is an accomplished trial lawyer in the field of personal injury and worker’s compensation.

Personal Injury  / Worker’s Compensation

Won’t Back Down

Ben has handled many worker’s compensation cases and successfully settled hundreds of them. He has an enviable reputation as a “won’t back-down” lawyer. He is skilled in personal injury law as well.

Jerry Maeder always praised Attorney Welch for treating our clients like family.

Professional Background
  • Admitted to Bar, 2005, State of Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin–Green Bay (B.S., 2001)
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison Law School (J.D., 2005)
Experience
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • Circuit Courts throughout Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Court of Appeals
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court

Jerome A. Maeder

Trial Attorney 1954 – 2020

Jerome (“Jerry”) Maeder practiced for over 60 years handling serious injury cases, motor vehicle accidents, product liability, and worker’s compensation. Jerome Maeder lectured at both the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers and the State Bar of Wisconsin–Litigation Section on various trial tactics and trial subjects and was acknowledged by his peers and judges as being a preeminent trial attorney.

Jerry handled thousands of personal injury claims and tried hundreds of cases to verdict or decision. He had an extensive win record in the appellate courts in Wisconsin. He truly was a “trial lawyer’s lawyer” and was known throughout Wisconsin as “one of the best”. He left a legacy of success that was driven by hard work and a passion to see that justice was achieved for each of his clients. He passed that same work ethic, knowledge, skill, and passion on to Brad and Ben and they are committed to continuing to provide the best legal representation to their clients.

One of the Best
Jerry handled thousands of personal injury claims and tried hundreds of cases to verdict or decision. He had an extensive win record in the appellate courts in Wisconsin. He truly was a “trial lawyer’s lawyer”. He was known throughout Wisconsin as “one of the best”.

Jerry recently passed away and practiced law until the very end. He taught Attorney Myska and Attorney Welch about the practice of law, the importance of treating clients like family, and how to stand up to the so-called “bullies” in the courtroom. His legacy continues through Attorneys Myska and Welch. Myska and Welch never back down from insurance companies when standing up for clients. They’re tough as nails in the courtroom.