Two deaths on the Klickitat last week have focused attention on the risks associated with river rafting. Veteran river guide Jeff Driver died when his raft capsized. Another member of the group, Rollin Schimmel, 61, of Pendleton, Oregon, also drowned.
When injury or death occurs while on a guided rafting trip, the injured person or the family of the person who died will have a claim for damages against the rafting guide and the company that organized the rafting trip. When injuries or death result from an unguided rafting trip, there may be a claim for negligence against the person who controlled the raft or made decisions about the route traveled.
River rafting companies typically carry policies of insurance specifically meant to cover claims brought by their customers. Where the trip was unguided, it is likely that the negligent person’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover the claim for damages.