NNNicolet Law Office, S.C.

No charges to be filed in Wisconsin fatal accident between boats

A Wisconsin prosecutor made the difficult decision not to press charges against a boat driver involved in an accident in 2011. The district attorney believes that both boat drivers contributed to the fatal accident. Where this gives ample reason to file charges, the probability of a conviction is believed to be low.

The two boats collided on the Chippewa River. Three people who were part of a wedding party were killed in the crash. The other decedent was the second boat driver. Factors that reportedly caused the accident include speed, drugs and alcohol.

Not only did the district attorney review the evidence from the investigation, but he also consulted with boating experts across the country. Further, in making the determination not to prosecute, additional factors were taken into consideration. Some of these factors include reasonable doubt regarding the boat driver's guilt, insufficient evidence to present in court that would support a conviction and the fact that such a trial could have an adverse effect on the victims.

Further, it was decided that the families might seek adequate remedies in civil court. Under Wisconsin law, the burden of proof in civil court is not as stringent as it is in criminal proceedings. Moreover, the underlying issues are different. In fact, some or all of the families that lost loved ones that day have filed wrongful death claims.

Those claims may be filed against both the surviving boat driver and the deceased boat driver's estate. Further, the family of the deceased boat driver may have a claim against the surviving boat driver as well. If a court determines that both drivers were negligent in a manner that caused or contributed to the fatal accident, the court may apportion an award of damages between them based upon their degree of fault. If the families are successful in proving the boat drivers' actions were negligent -- and that those actions caused or contributed to the deaths of their loved ones in this fatal accident -- the court may award damages.

Source: wqow.com, Chippewa Co. D.A. will not file charges in fatal boat crash, Amie Winters and Keith Edwards, Jan. 17, 2014

Awards & Recognition

Our peers and independent third-party organizations have recognized the hard work and dedication we put into every case. This has led to numerous awards and accolades.

  1. Rated By Super Lawyers | Russel D. Nicolet
    Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Bankruptcy
  2. The American Association of Legal Advocates Wisconsin Association for Justice BBB Accredited Business - A+
  3. Minnesota State Bar Association American Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin
  4. BV Distinguished | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability The National Trial Lawyers

Office Locations

Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Law Office Map

Wausau Office
408 Third Street, Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54401

Phone: 715-716-4673
Wausau Law Office Map

Rice Lake Office
337 N. Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: 715-802-0872
Rice Lake Law Office Map

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave, Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: 715-802-0872
Eau Claire Law Office Map

Woodbury Office
724 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-243-2872
Woodbury Law Office Map

Amery Office
228 Keller Ave N., Suite 3A
Amery, WI 54001

Phone: 715-802-0872
Amery Law Office Map

Superior Office
1720 North Twelfth Street
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-802-0872
Superior Law Office Map

New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave., Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-802-0872
New Richmond Law Office Map

Satellite Offices

Regional Office Map

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. helps people throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota including; Hudson, Eau Claire, Superior, Wausau, Amery, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Menomonie, Hayward, New Richmond, Spooner, Bloomer and Barron.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.