100 Most Influential Lawyers in America – the National Law Journal

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100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

Maria McCarthy

Maria W. McCarthy

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Practice Areas:

  • Serious Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Insurance Coverage


Maria Wusinich McCarthy specializes in serious injury, wrongful death and insurance coverage matters on behalf of individuals and families throughout California. Among the cases she has successfully litigated since she joined Hiepler & Hiepler in 2008, Ms. McCarthy worked on behalf of victims of the tragic 2008 train collision in Chatsworth, California, serving on the court-appointed steering committee for all plaintiffs bringing actions. As a result of the two-and-a half year effort, $200 million was recovered. Ms. McCarthy was part of the legislative effort in those cases to repeal the federal law that placed a cap on all damages in passenger railway accident cases without regard for the number and severity of injuries and the loss of life involved. The effort led to proposed legislation and congressional hearings that would be the precursor to federal legislation ultimately enacted years later substantially increasing the cap for the benefit of future railway accident victims.

Ms. McCarthy was honored to work towards obtaining a seven figure resolution in the matter of the wrongful death of a child exposed to chemicals in a hotel pool, and also to represent a teen denied behavioral health benefits under her insurance plan. In that case, $1,000,000 was recovered.

Ms. McCarthy was honored to represent a client who was injured by a falling object while shopping at a major retail store, also resulting in a seven-figure recovery.

Ms. McCarthy was named a "Rising Star" in 2014 - 2015 by Southern California Super Lawyers. “Rising Star” is a distinction reserved for top-rated attorneys representing only 2.5% of young lawyers in the state deemed to have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Ms. McCarthy’s recent case results include a $1,250,000 (policy limit) underinsured motorist arbitration award for a client who suffered traumatic injuries in an auto versus pedestrian collision and a multi-million dollar recovery for an individual who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury following a moderate-impact motor vehicle collision. She recently obtained a pre-litigation reversal of a health insurance denial on behalf of a client whose health insurer refused to pay a tremendous medical bill for air ambulance transportation to an out-of-state brain injury treatment facility.

Ms. McCarthy attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she received a B.A. in Political Science. Ms. McCarthy received her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and served on the editorial board of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal. Prior to attending law school, Ms. McCarthy was employed in Washington DC on the legislative staff of a United States Senator.