If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit against another person who injured you in some type of accident, that person has had a civil lawsuit filed against them. This matter is separate from any criminal charges the person might face.
For example, if a drunk driver hits you while you are walking through a crosswalk, he could face a criminal charge for injuring you and for the drunk driving. He could possibly be fined and even go to jail on these charges if convicted. In addition, you also can file a personal injury lawsuit against him. If you win this case, he could also have to pay for your injury damages, which can include your medical costs, lost and future wages, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and any property damage.
If the person was driving a car and hit you in a crosswalk, his auto insurance policy may pay you for your damages. However, some people either do not have insurance, or they only have minimal coverage. He might have only $25,000 of coverage for injuries for other people in an accident. If your injuries are more than that, he may have to pay out of pocket for the rest. If the defendant does not have the money, it is possible to garnish his wages or levy his bank accounts for the money. But doing that would require additional legal steps on your part that are beyond the scope of a personal injury settlement or verdict.
Depending upon the case and the attorneys involved, the defendant may either agree to a settlement or can take the case to trial. Many insurance companies prefer to settle personal injury claims out of court because they usually pay less than if the case goes to trial and they lose. This is especially true in drunk driving cases; few insurance companies want to risk a jury verdict on a drunk driving case as few Americans have sympathy for drunk drivers.
But in the end, it is up to the defendant and his attorneys about whether to settle or go to trial in your personal injury case.