Do I seek damages in a civil court or a criminal court?

When you are injured in an auto accident, the primary remedy for victims is a civil case.  A civil lawsuit falls under the area of tort law, which developed to compensate people who are injured by someone else’s negligence.  A civil suit will be brought against the person who is at fault in the accident, but the compensation will usually come from the insurance company.

In some extreme circumstances, the responsible driver will also face criminal penalties for their behavior.  In situations where the other driver was under the influence or was criminally reckless and negligent, the state may decide to pursue a criminal case against them.  In these situations, the victim will often be an important witness, but they will not be compensated in any way for their injuries through the criminal court.