Understanding Accident Impact Statements

Auto accident impact statements, also known as victim impact statements or victim impact statements (VIS), are written or oral statements presented to the court by individuals who have been directly affected by an auto accident. These statements aim to provide a personal account of the physical, emotional, and financial impact the accident has had on the victims and their families.

How are impact statements used?

Victim impact statements serve multiple purposes within the legal system. They allow victims to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to the accident, giving them a voice in the judicial process. These statements can also help judges, juries, and other relevant parties understand the full extent of the harm caused by the accident and consider the impact on the victims when determining appropriate legal consequences for the responsible parties.

Creating an impact statement

Victim impact statements are generally prepared with the assistance of an attorney who can help ensure that all relevant details are included and that the statement is presented in a respectful and impactful manner.

What goes into an impact statement?

  1. A clear and concise description of the accident, including the date, time, location, vehicles involved, the people affected, and any relevant factors such as weather conditions or road conditions.
  2. The personal details of the person providing the impact statement, such as their name, address, contact information, and relationship to the accident (e.g., victim, witness, or family member).
  3. The injuries sustained by individuals involved in the accident including both physical injuries and emotional trauma.
  4. An outline of the medical treatments received, including hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, therapy, and rehabilitation. Also, ongoing medical conditions or long-term effects resulting from the accident.
  5. The emotional and psychological impact of the accident on the individuals involved, including feelings of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any other psychological distress experienced.
  6. The financial consequences of the accident, such as medical expenses, property damage costs, lost wages or income, and any other related financial hardships or burdens caused by the accident.
  7. Changes in lifestyle or limitations resulting from the accident. This can include the inability to perform certain activities, loss of independence, or diminished quality of life.
  8. Statements from witnesses who observed the accident or its aftermath. 

Auto accident impact statements play a crucial role in highlighting the human impact of an accident and can help shape the legal outcomes by providing a comprehensive understanding of the harm caused to the victims and their loved ones. To find out more about accident impact statements, speak to your personal injury attorney. 

For more info, contact a local firm like Goicoechea DiGrazia Coyle & Stanton Ltd.