The Author claims that the idea of asserting one’s civil claims in the course of criminal proceedings is well established in Polish criminal procedure law. Characteristic features of civil suit are indicated. The Author accepts the possibility of claiming compensation for a damage done by the perpetrator of an offence, based on the provisions of civil substantive law or on criminalsubstantive solutions provided by Polish criminal procedure law. Also, it is discussed why the aggrieved party quite rarely makes use of the institution of civil complainant. The Author is of opinion that this state of affairs would change if a solution were adopted which would combine the possibility of having damages awarded by the aggrieved with the activity of this party to the proceedings. This should apply to the assertion of these claims that are grounded in provisions of civil substantive law. This proposal is supported by the postulate to limit the practice of adjudging damages ex officio to a necessary minimum (in case of recognized incapability of the aggrieved).