I frequently represent clients who are involved in traffic accidents and receive traffic summonses related to that accident. When the police come to the scene of an accident, they oftentimes assign someone the "blame" for the accident. The accident report can be gospel inpersonal injury cases where liability (who is to blame for the accident) has much to do with the monetary recovery for the plaintiff/victim.
It's important to know that a good criminal defense attorney can even help you out with a future civil lawsuit. Should my client plead guilty to a traffic offense (hopefully one that I have negotiated down from the original ticket), I always ask the judge for a "civil reservation".
A civil reservation on the plea means that the plea cannot be used as evidence in any subsequent civil lawsuit filed against the defendant. It's not necessarily 100% protection, but it's the best we can do. Civil attorneys could probably subpoena the transcript of the plea, but let them figure that out.
I recently represented a driver in municipal court who was involved in a collision with a bicyclist. She was issued a ticket forfailure to yield. I was able to get the State to downgrade to an "obstructing traffic", which is a no-point violation with a very low fine, along with the aforementioned civil reservation to protect her in the event of a civil suit. She was happy