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Conscious Pain & Suffering -Car Acccident

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In 2008, 22 year old Elvia Collado, a counselor for developmentally disabled kids, was killed in a car accident that was senseless and preventable.   Elvia was a passenger in her boyfriend, Waldo Vargas', auto.   Tragically, Waldo Vargas was intoxicated and lost control of the vehicle on a major parkway, striking a tree and killing  Elvia who was a front seat passenger wearing a seat belt.

Ambulance personnel responded quickly. Elvia was pulled from the car and rushed to the hospital where doctors prepared her for surgery.   With Elvia's massive internal injuries, doctors raced against time to determine the extent of her injuries and stop the internal bleeding.  Sadly, Elvia could not be saved and was pronounced dead three hours after arriving at the hospital.

As administrator of her daughter’s estate, Elvia’s mother brought a lawsuit against Vargas seeking damages for her daughter’s pre-death conscious pain and suffering.The defendant answered the lawsuit denying liability.    However, multiple eyewitness accounts refuted his claims and had Vargas traveling up to 100 mph.  

With regard to pain and suffering, Vargas attorney argued that Ms. Collado was unconscious and unresponsive to pain and therefore he suggested an award of zero.

Thanks to the expert testimony of expert pathologist, EMS and hospital staff, Elvia's mother was able to prove that there was pre-death conscious pain and suffering.  In fact, the hospital staff detailed various painful injuries including rib fractures, disarticulation of the clavicle, lacerations and hemorrhages to the lungs and abdominal bleeding, all of which resulted in sharp, terrible pain.  It was determined that Elvia was conscious for about 39 minutes until she was placed under general anesthesia before surgery

At trial, the jury awarded $549,000 as follows:

$250,000 for pain and suffering
$275,000 for punitive damages and
$24,000 for economic loss

For over 40 years, Lebell, Dobroski, Morgan & Meylink has been representing families in conscious pain and suffering cases.  By working one on one, directly with their clients, the LDM&M attorneys have secured millions of dollars in awards for their clients.   If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in any type of accident, contact the attorneys at LDM&M for a free consolation and see what expert, devoted attorneys can do for you.