When drunk drivers injure or kill others, those with injuries or who have suffered a loss want to know about the punishment drunk drivers receive. This is why most victims of Georgia drunk driving crashes want to learn about the criminal proceedings and whether or not they have a role in the criminal case against their drunk driver.
While DUI victims don’t have much involvement in the criminal case, as it is the state’s case against the offender, there is one thing victims should know about—a Victim Impact Statement. Many DUI victims in Peachtree City, Roswell, Norcross, Newnan, and in Atlanta, Georgia have offered Victim Impact Statements before a drunk driver’s punishment was determined.
What’s the Purpose of a Victim Impact Statement?
Providing a statement is a victim’s chance to tell the court how his or her life has been changed as a result of the offender driving intoxicated. It really is the only opportunity that a DUI victim gets to communicate with the drunk driver and the court. The purpose of providing this statement is to give the court an idea of how the victim(s) has been impacted as a result of a negligent driver choosing to drive drunk.
Typically these statements are done orally at the sentencing, but sometimes victims have someone else read it on their behalf. Additionally, some statements are videotaped because victims cannot be present or do not feel comfortable in front of the offender. Whichever way a statement is made, it will likely impact the punishment handed down to the offender.
Because a Victim Impact Statement can affect the offender’s punishment, it is important that a Georgia DUI victim rehearses his or her statement by writing out how the drunk driving crash changed his or her life in the following ways:
- Financial impact of the crash. List the costs associated with medical expenses, property damages, counseling, rehabilitation, lost income, funeral costs, and other expenses that this crime has caused.
- Emotional impact of the wreck. Explain if the crash has caused sleeplessness, nightmares, sadness, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship issues, and family issues.
- Physical impact of the accident. Explain the injuries that have been diagnosed as well as what’s involved in the treatment and recovery process. List any physical limitations, disabilities, and pain that will remain for life and how the injuries have affected you overall.
It’s important to have a skilled Peachtree City accident attorney on your side to help you through this time and to build a strong civil case on your behalf. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to speak with a knowledgeable injury attorney in a free consultation at 770.487.8999 today.