I am an attorney practicing in Colorado and New York. I can give you an answer, but you should confirm it with a local lawyer. A civil compromise involves a resoluition of any claim you have for damages. This includes any claim you have for damage to your automobile, property, or person. Usually, this is handled through an insurance claim. If you sustained an injnury, you should not settle this claim without your own lawyer. Your lawyer will be familiar with the values for personal injury damage claims in your geograpgic area, and would protect your rights as to the cost of medical treatment, etc. Keep in mind that the other driver has been criminally charged, and wants to make a showing to the Court that they have adressed and resolved all civil claims in connection with the accident that is the basis for the charge. If he can show this he will get some leniancy by the Judge in the criminal case.
A civil compromise is a good way for someone who has criminal charges against them to get the charges dismissed. I'm assuming your case is like this: some drunk guy hit your car and caused some damages. You want to get your repairs paid for. The state is likely prosecuting the other driver for Criminal Mischief or something along those lines. Part of that charge is to make sure that you get paid for what he broke. By doing a civil compromise, you are essentially agreeing that the criminal defendant can pay you off. The court will then dismiss the defendant's charge if you agree. Not ALL of the charges, mind you, but just the one pertaining to property damage.
You have nothing to fear in doing it so long as you are being fully compensated. You may be able to even make a few bucks at it. You also give a guy a break who probably needs it.
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