How Much Money Can I Get From Pain And Suffering From A Car Accident?

Car accident incident in the highway.

Car accidents can have devastating consequences for drivers and passengers alike. Along with costly damage to the vehicle, people in the car at the time of a collision may suffer serious and lasting injuries.

Crash victims may be seriously traumatized by the experience and suffer mental anguish. The physical, mental, and emotional trauma that the victims of car accidents suffer can be extremely difficult to overcome. If a car accident victim decides to file a personal injury claim against the person responsible for the crash, the victim may seek different types of financial compensation, including an award for pain and suffering.

How Compensation for Pain and Suffering is Calculated

If you are filing a personal injury claim, you probably would like to have an idea of what your claim is worth. Insurance companies use different techniques to calculate the value of personal injury claims. These methods are based on compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, along with additional funds for damages due to “pain and suffering.”

In some cases, insurance companies use a daily rate to calculate the pain and suffering component of an injury claim. Under a “per diem calculation,” a specific amount of money is assigned for each day or week that the victim is in recovery.

Motor vehicle accidentMotor vehicle accidentFor instance, let’s say you have medical expenses of $30,000 and $9,000 in lost wages for a total of $39,000. For three months after the accident, you are unable to work because of your injuries, and you still have to visit the doctor on a regular basis while taking pain medication. After three months, your pain has subsided, and you are able to resume your normal routine. The insurer might assign a daily value of $200.00. The insurer would calculate three months (90 days) by $200.00 to get $18,000.

A more commonly used method to evaluate pain and suffering is to multiply the damages (i.e., medical expenses and lost wages) by a certain number. It is common to multiply the actual damages by three to reach an amount for a settlement. So, if your medical bills were $30,000 and your lost wages were $9,000, you would multiply $39,000 by 3 to get $117,000.

What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

Every claim is different. The size of a settlement depends on the facts of the case and the severity of the victim’s injuries.  The best way to get an estimate of what your particular injury case might be worth is to talk with an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer at The Sawaya Law Firm.

Our car accident attorneys have handled thousands of injury claims. We bring decades of experience and an informed perspective about the value of claims to each case we handle.

You will most likely receive a larger settlement if you are found not at fault for the accident.

How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Whiplash Claim?

In the most serious cases of whiplash, the victim may experience symptoms of the injury for several months and chronic neck pain. Whiplash claims represent a significant portion of crash injury claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Snapchat accidents teen drivers Sawaya Law Firm Denver Colorado Auto AccidentsSnapchat accidents teen drivers Sawaya Law Firm Denver Colorado Auto AccidentsIf you experience lingering symptoms after a few months, such as pain, stiffness, limited mobility, numbness or tingling, you may have developed complications from the whiplash injury. Lingering symptoms could indicate that you have damage to your cervical spine, cervical muscles or ligaments, or injuries to the nerves in your neck.

If the symptoms persist, it’s crucial to see a doctor to determine if your whiplash injury has caused other complications. Not only is this important for your health, but it is important if the injuries are determined to be severe enough to file a personal injury claim.

The amount of a whiplash injury settlement will depend on the severity of the injury, the determination of fault and the insurance policies available to provide compensation. If the injury case is a more serious case that involves physical therapy over several months, you could be rewarded upwards of $30,000 or more.  In some cases, severe neck injuries that affect the spine, nerves or vertebrae can be settled at amounts more than six figures.

What Percentage of a Settlement Does a Lawyer Receive?

Most lawyers charge a contingency fee for personal injury settlements. The legal fees collected are dependent upon the final settlement or amount awarded by a Colorado jury. Most personal injury attorneys handle cases on a “contingency-fee” agreement. Contingency fee agreements allow accident victims to obtain legal representation after a crash or other personal injury accident without having to come up with money to pay a lawyer. Their clients can focus on recovering instead of worrying about paying legal fees up front, while the lawyers begin working on the case.

The most common contingency fee percentage in personal injury law is between 33 – 40 percent. For personal injury cases where a lawsuit is filed, this percentage can increase up to 40 percent. For more than 40 years, the attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm have helped injured people in Colorado and we stand by our 33% contingency fee.

For a personal injury case, legal costs and expenses may include:

  • The cost of obtaining your medical records
  • Hiring skilled accident investigators
  • Accessing police/accident reports
  • Hiring expert witnesses
  • Postage fees
  • Filing fees
  • Pre-Trial Depositions
  • Trial exhibits

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

The Sawaya Law Firm has more than 35 years’ experience in personal injury law. Our lawyers, paralegals, investigators, and staff are dedicated to helping in cases of catastrophic injuries as well as wrongful death claims in Denver and throughout the state of Colorado.

Our personal injury attorneys and staff go above and beyond when seeking the compensation that you need to recover from car accident injuries. It’s our goal to help you obtain full personal, medical, and vocational recovery after your car accident. Contact us at (720) 709-2855 today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.