Calculation of Losses Not “Frivolous”

 This segment of The Law and You features personal injury trial lawyer Lara Johnson explaining why personal injury lawsuit claim amounts may sometimes seem large.


JOEL: This is Joel Block for The Law and You with Eugene attorney, Lara Johnson. Lara, there are sometimes high verdicts for lawsuits. How are these figures determined?

LARA: When a personal injury case is filed and before the extent of the injuries is fully known, the attorney for the injured person is required to estimate what the medical bills, lost wages, daily living needs, and other losses will be, not only for the present, but for the rest of that person’s life. On the surface, this amount may seem high. Legally, this number sets a ceiling or “cap” on what a jury may assess. After hearing the testimony from witnesses for both sides, including the person’s physicians, the jury determines the amount of the verdict. In practice, that amount sometimes is not enough to even cover the injured person’s past and future medical bills, which in severe injury cases can be in the millions of dollars.

JOEL: Thanks, Lara. If you would like to know more about How the Law Works, visit the The Law and You is a community service and does not replace the advice of an attorney.​

The Corson & Johnson Law Firm, an Oregon personal injury trial law firm, produced and distributed The Law and You as a public service to help families and consumers answer questions about our legal system and how it works for them. The Law and You spots were aired on KKNU, KMGE, KEUG, and KODZ. Please note that laws may have changed since a public service spot was aired. If you have suggestions for legal questions or topics you would like addressed, please contact us.