Heavy rain on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, created a very dangerous situation for many people. There is a recovery operation underway after 10 people were washed away by the current in a storm drain in Ontario. Up to four people remain missing. The incident was reported shortly before 10 a.m. on 4th street near John Galvin Park.
Five people were rescued, and one man was confirmed dead. The four who remain missing were seen in the water, but it is still unknown whether they made it out of the water alive.
The victims were all described as homeless, living in the area where the basin swelled during the storm.
Unfortunately, homelessness remains a serious issue in Southern California. Many homeless people resort to storm basins for shelter as they are generally less likely to be removed than other public spaces, like sidewalks, parks, etc. In general, there are some places where homeless encampments are not allowed, and it is the cities job to clear out these encampments. Typically, however, encampments are only cleared out when they present a danger to the community but not when the danger is present to the homeless in the encampment.
The truth is that the incident described above could have been avoided if there was no encampment in the storm drain to begin with or if the city had warned and evacuated the homeless before the storm started.
If a member of your family lost his or her life after being washed away by a current during a storm, you could have grounds to file a lawsuit against the city. For more information about the legal options available to you and your family, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance at your earliest convenience. The lawyers here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group are ready to help you.
The City’s Responsibly to All Residents
The city is responsible for keeping absolutely all city-property safe. Cities have to ensure that sidewalks are well-maintained to prevent trip and fall accidents, for example. Likewise, they have to ensure that roads are maintained and that traffic lights are functioning to prevent auto accidents. What about places where homeless people typically choose to set up encampments? No matter whether it’s a storm drain, a storm basin, train tracks, a freeway embankment, etc. – the city needs to take action to ensure that no one suffers any harm. The city could put up signs (no trespassing signs, storm surge signs, flooding signs, etc.) or could outright make the area inaccessible to the public (by surrounding the area with fences). Although it is unfortunate, sometimes these measures simply do not work – especially considering that the homeless population is simply looking for a safe place to stay. In these cases, the city should actually remove the encampments as many times as necessary.
Your Right to Sue
No matter whether your loved one was homeless or not, you could have grounds to file a lawsuit for their wrongful death. In many cases, the city could be found accountable for the incident and the resulting harm. For more information about your right to file a lawsuit, do not hesitate to contact the experts here at our law firm immediately.
Your Right to Compensation
If you decide to file a lawsuit, you could be eligible to recover monetary compensation. Some of the compensation that you could recover could include the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost pay
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages
- Legal fees
Ultimately, the type and amount of compensation that you could recover will be based on the details surrounding the claim. For more information about what you could potentially recover – or about past case values or average case values of claims similar to yours – do not hesitate to contact the experts here at our law firm immediately.
How Long Do I Have to Sue?
This is a very common question. In California, all personal injury claims, including wrongful death claims, are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that claimants only have two years to file their lawsuits. What happens if claimants do not file their claims on time? Unfortunately, failing to file a claim on time means that claimants lose their right to sue. For more information about the total length of time that applies to your claim, contact the experts here at our law firm immediately. Our lawyers will ensure that you file your claim on time.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to take action against the city of Ontario or any other city. We offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions. During these legal services, our experienced lawyers will be available to answer all your questions and address all your concerns – ensuring that you have all the information that you need to begin or continue your claim. If you would like to benefit from our free legal services, contact us today.
Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that you will never have to worry about paying upfront legal fees for our legal services. We also work on contingency; therefore, our clients will never be required to pay anything until after winning their claims.
Contact us today if you are ready to explore your legal options with our experienced lawyers.