In some cases the restitution provided to the victim through the criminal justice system is inadequate or nonexistent. You may choose to file a lawsuit in civil court against the perpetrator of the crime to win compensation for any damages, including pain and suffering. This lawsuit is separate from the prosecution in criminal court. For example, in a situation where the victim is sexually assaulted, two legal proceedings can take place. One legal proceeding is the criminal prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. The second legal proceeding is a civil suit filed by the victim against the alleged perpetrator for money damages. The victim could sue under an intentional tort theory for medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc. You will need to have a lawyer represent you in the civil lawsuit unless you elect to file your case in Small Claims Court.