Las Vegas Pregnant Woman Killed in DUI Car Crash
Drinking and driving are not a good mix. This could lead to serious bodily injuries and damaged properties. Or worse, death. Here’s another alcohol-related car accident that resulted in a fatality.
In March 2018, a pregnant woman named Monique Leiwalo was driving on the northbound lane of Rainbow Boulevard around 7 in the morning. Suddenly a man driving an SUV hit another car and rear-ended Leiwalo’s vehicle. The force threw Leiwalo’s vehicle, crashing it into a pole. She died as a result.
But it was not only Leiwalo who perished in the car accident. The unborn child in her tummy also died. According to the deceased’s sister Jasmine, Leiwalo was scheduled to give birth in May. Originally from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Leiwalo moved to Las Vegas in 2013 with her longtime beau Anthony Cruz.
The suspect, driving the SUV in question, was identified as Timothy Naas. After the car crash, Naas reportedly fled the scene. But he was later apprehended and criminally charged on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). The 29-year-old Naas was delivered to the Clark County Detention Center where he faces countless charges. Among the criminal actions filed against him include DUI and hit-and-run.
DUI Car Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death Involving an Unborn Child
Is an unborn child considered a person for purposes applied in wrongful death cases? Yes, according to a 1972 case decided by the Supreme Court of Nevada in Weaks v. Mounter.
In Naas’ case, he may be criminally charged for the death of Leiwalo and her unborn child. Additionally, Naas may also face a civil action for recovery of damages arising from two counts of wrongful death.
Under Las Vegas jurisdiction, tortfeasors like Naas may be held liable for pecuniary losses. They will be required to answer for the decedent’s medical bills on his/her final illness or injury. Upon the latter’s death, these tortfeasors will also answer for the funeral or burial costs.
Tortfeasors will also be held liable to cover for the decedent’s lost future income, paying to the latter’s heirs. The heirs will also receive damages founded upon the decedent’s pain or suffering as well as the lost emotional guidance on the part of the dependents.
Establishing Liability in Las Vegas DUI Cases
To establish criminal and civil liability in wrongful deaths arising from Las Vegas DUI cases, the plaintiff will need to gather direct or circumstantial evidence to prove the fault or negligence of the tortfeasor. To wit, it must be shown to the court that:
the tortfeasor has the duty to observe proper diligence in operating his motor vehicle on the roadways,
(2) there was a failure to observe the requisite degree of diligence,
(3) this failure resulted in a violation of a safety statute; e.g., DUI laws,
(4) the violation of the safety statute involved an injury or death.
Based on the accident report, it can be deduced that Naas is liable for the wrongful death due to his failure to follow the DUI laws. However, from a legal standpoint, this fact needs to be presented and proven before the court.
You Need an Aggressive Las Vegas DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Las Vegas DUI incident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained. In the case of death, the heirs may be awarded the damages. For this purpose, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation from a highly experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer.