About Maeder Law Firm
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 Know about and expose the Insurance company's tricks
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
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
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.
We don’t 'work' for our clients, rather we 'serve' them and we know that they've granted us this privilege which we'll always honor through hard work and honesty.