A horrific accident at a Watts intersection did permanent damage to a Los Angeles family, leaving a father dead and a daughter suffering from severe and permanent physical injuries. According to a lawsuit the family recently filed, the tragedy was preventable, as the intersection had a long reputation for danger and injuries, but the school district took no actions to try to minimize that danger, the Southwest Riverside News Network reported.
Jose Luis Arreola, a father of two, took his wife and three-year-old daughter to the Ritter School in Watts to attend an award ceremony honoring several children, including the couple's eight-year-old daughter. After the ceremony, as the family entered a crosswalk on Santa Ana Boulevard near Watts Avenue, a car stopped for the family. However, the driver of an SUV chose to pass the car and proceed through the intersection. The SUV struck the father and the eldest child, killing the father and leaving the girl with permanent injuries.
The Arreola family subsequently sued the Los Angeles Unified School District, along with the City and County of Los Angeles, for wrongful death, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress. According to the family's complaint, the intersection where the accident occurred had a long history of accidents, causing local residents and Ritter School parents to nickname the location the "intersection of death." The school district allegedly held a community meeting to discuss the problematic intersection the day before the Arreolas' accident.
Despite the widespread knowledge of the intersection's danger, which the family argued that the city, county and school knew about or should have known about, no steps had been taken to alleviate the risks of the area. According to the complaint, the section of Santa Ana Boulevard where Arreola died had no stops signs, speed bumps, traffic signals or speed limit signs in the area approaching the intersection. "Cars are unaware of the presence of the school, the intersection, or the need to moderate their speeds," the complaint contended.
The complaint stated that the eldest daughter suffered paralysis as a result of the accident, and that her injuries are so significant that she requires around-the-clock care, and will need such care for the rest of her life.
Prompt action is an essential component of pursuing a case like this. Under California statutory law, a city or county may be liable if the victims can prove that a dangerous road condition caused, or at least contributed to, the accident. However, victims must file their cases against government entities within 180 days.
Traffic or highway accidents can cause great damage to individuals and families, and the attempts to obtain compensation may be very complicated, especially if a roadway condition helped cause the accident. As with many cases, timely action is essential. If you've been injured, or lost a loved one, as a result of a vehicle collision, contact our experienced San Francisco car accident and wrongful death attorneys. The determined San Francisco injury attorneys at Callaway & Wolf can help you ensure than you have the opportunity to pursue all avenues of recovery to which you are entitled.