The same common law that governs negligence and duty of care for motorists applies to cyclists

A negligent driver is generally liable for losses suffered by an innocent third party.  Hence, it is common immediately following a motor vehicle accident for the motorists involved to question “Who was in the wrong?” whereby both parties accept that the negligent driver, or its insurer, pays the costs of the innocent driver.

The negligent driver pays the 'excess' to its Insurer, whereas the innocent driver does not.

The Insurers for the two parties usually agree which party was negligent.  However, if there is any dispute, either party in the accident can litigate the other under common law by launching a civil action usually in a district court.

A minority of cyclists, most notably amongst Bunch Riders, suffer under an illusion that when they agree to join a Bunch Ride that they forfeit the right to seek damages and costs under a civil action should they be seriously injured, or conversely that no other Bunch Rider could litigate them should their negligence cause, or contribute to, an injury suffered by another Bunch Rider(s)

That belief rapidly vanishes -

i)          when a Bunch Rider is seriously injured and his/her future income is materially diminished; and

ii)         if that seriously injured Bunch Rider believes that another Bunch Rider or the Bunch Rider organiser's negligence has contributed to his/her serious injuries.

The Daily Telegraph article of 22 Nov 11 "Bathurst pedestrian Mark James awarded $541,990 in damages for injuries sustained when hit by cyclist Gavin Whiteman" evidences a substantive award of $541,990 by the NSW District Court against a negligent cyclist who hit a pedestrian.  

The same common law governing motorists equally applies to cyclists. 

Damages awarded can be come into millions if the injured party -

(i)         is young (ie 30 with a wife and children, self-employed with a large mortgage) and looses his/her future income; and

(ii)        suffers material diminished quality of life and/or potential duration of life.  

See two bicycle accident scenarios in Chapter 2.