Injured on the La Poudre River—Fort Collins

Last updated on: April 18, 2021


A beautiful day of floating, rafting, or fishing on the La Poudre River can change your life in a second when you are injured in accident. Accidents and injuries on the river can happen for a number of reasons, and leave victims with serious injuries and hospital bills. Although these incidents are usually accidents, that doesn’t mean someone cannot be held responsible for your injuries.

The lawyers at Zinda Law Group have experience representing La Poudre River injury victims and helping them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (800)-863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with a Fort Collins injury attorney.


The La Poudre River may appear calm on the surface in some parts of the river, but sharp rocks, sudden drop-offs, and other unforeseen dangers below the surface can injure unsuspecting individuals. In the past twenty years, there have been twenty deaths on the La Poudre River. While a variety of situations can lead to an injury, some of the most common situations include:

Slip and Falls 

Slippery rocks, broken branches, and quickly moving water can knock you off your feet and cause you to slip and fall. When slip and falls happen near water, they can be especially dangerous because you can hit your head, be knocked unconscious, and slip beneath the surface of the water.

Inability to Swim

You should always be aware of the limitations of your swimming ability. Even if you are a good swimmer, fast moving water and undercurrents can easily catch you off guard. Rocks and other hidden obstacles beneath the surface of the water can knock you off balance even in shallow water.

Alcohol Consumption

While floating down the river with a drink in your hand may sound like a great way to spend the afternoon, alcohol consumption can impair your judgment, impede your balance, and make you more likely to not notice and avoid dangerous situations.

Inclement Weather

You can be caught in quickly changing weather conditions, and a beautiful day on the river can become unexpectedly stormy. The water may become rougher and more dangerous, and rafters may face an increased chance of being struck by lightning.

Defective Equipment

It is important that equipment functions correctly, especially in an emergency situation. When life jackets, inflatable tubes, rafts, and other equipment are defectively manufactured, those enjoying recreation on the river can be seriously injured when equipment fails to work.

common injuries

Injuries from accidents on the La Poudre River can vary in degree of seriousness, from minor scrapes to severe head injuries. Some of the most common injuries suffered by visitors to this river near Greeley and Fort Collins include:

Broken Bones

When a victim’s foot gets trapped between rocks, the current can make it difficult to free themselves, and they may break an ankle or leg. In other cases, when a raft hits a big wave for example, individuals may go flying from the raft and hit their arms or other bones on rocks in the water.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises

Cuts and scrapes can be caused by sharp rocks, broken branches, or other debris in the river. While they may at first appear to be minor, cuts can become infected from bacteria in the water. Open wounds should be carefully monitored for signs of infection.

Injuries to the Face

Activities on the river that require a paddle increase the chance of being hit in the face. A paddle can knock out teeth, make gums bleed, cause bloody noses, and bruise your face. When other paddlers are in a closely confined raft or the current is extremely strong, the likelihood of an injury to the face increases.

Head Injuries

When people slip and fall, they can hit their head and injure themselves. This can be especially serious when victims slip, fall, hit their heads, and are knocked unconscious. They may drown or be carried downstream in the current.


After an injury on the La Poudre River, you may be unsure about what to do next. The steps below outline what you should do immediately following an injury as well as in the days and weeks afterwards.

1. Seek Medical Help

In serious cases, you should immediately seek medical attention, especially for potential head injuries that can be life-threatening. In mild cases, you may not feel as though you need medical attention. However, it is always a good idea to be checked by a doctor who can detect any injuries that you may have incurred. You should also pay attention to any signs and symptoms that occur in the days following the accident, as they may not be immediately noticeable.

2. Document Your Damage

As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of your injuries. This may include pictures of any broken bones, bruises, or other injuries. Additionally, if any witnesses saw your accident occur, be sure to obtain their contact information.

3. Keep Track of Your Expenses

In order to receive compensation after an injury, you will need to keep track of your expenses. This includes hospital bills, dental bills, rehabilitation costs, and documented time taken off from work due to your injuries. If any of your equipment was damaged, you should also keep track of the cost of repairs or replacements.

4. Contact a Lawyer

A Fort Collins injury lawyer may be able to assist you by ensuring you receive proper medical treatment. If retained, they will also investigate the accident, interview witnesses, file a lawsuit, negotiate a settlement, and go to trial if necessary. Additionally, a lawyer may help you deal with questions about hospital bills, how much your case may be worth, and the next steps that you should take in your case.


Accidents occur on the water for a number of reasons. Some people mistakenly believe no one can be held liable for injuries sustained on the water. However, in some cases, another individual or company may be responsible for your injuries. Some of the parties who are most commonly found to be at fault for a water injury accident include:

Commercial Rafting Companies

Most commercial rafting companies will make you sign a waiver and release from liability. However, this does not mean that a company cannot still be held liable for your injuries. Rafting companies need to ensure that their guides are properly trained and certified, that the rafts and equipment are safe and well-maintained, and that rafting guides have informed riders of the risks and safety procedures.

Product Manufacturer

When products fail to work, individuals can be seriously harmed. For example, if a life jacket fails to keep an individual afloat, the product may have been defectively designed or manufactured. In cases where the defect results in an injury, the manufacturer may be liable for the damages.

Other Individuals

In some cases, other individuals on the river may be liable for your injuries. Horseplay, failing to follow established rules, and engaging in risky behavior can all cause harm to those around them. In these cases, the person responsible for your injuries should be held accountable.


What Compensation Can I Seek After an Injury?

After an injury, you may be able to recover compensation for hospital bills, medical expenses, time taken off work because of your injuries, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if you lost a loved one due to a severe river injury, family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The circumstances of each case are unique, and a skilled Fort Collins injury lawyer may be able to help you seek fair compensation.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

If you were injured in a river-related accident and want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Colorado, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. However, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible to help you navigate the filing timeline and seek the compensation you may deserve.


At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys have helped many victims get the compensation they deserved after suffering from injury on the La Poudre River. We work to help our clients seek money for hospital bills, time taken off work, pain and suffering, and much more.

We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

If you need an attorney in Fort Collins who is familiar with La Poudre River accidents, call Zinda Law Group at (800)-863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.