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Sugar Land Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Bicycle Accident > Bicycle Accidents: Who is Responsible for Damages?

Bicycle Accidents: Who is Responsible for Damages?


The at-fault party, which might be the bicyclist, the driver, or a third party, isn’t always the liable, or legally responsible, party. In fact, there’s almost always a difference between fault, which is like a halftime score, and liability, which is like a final score. The lead often changes hands in the second half. Likewise, additional evidence and game-changing legal theories often alter a preliminary fault determination.

A simple “You break it, you buy it” principle applies in these situations. Legal liability includes a responsibility to pay compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. A Sugar Land personal injury lawyer can obtain additional punitive damages as well, in some extreme cases.

Road Construction/Design

Engineers didn’t design bicycle-friendly roads in Greater Houston. At best, they added designated bicycle lanes and other such safety innovations well after the roads were built. Wide vehicle lanes, high speed limits, and multiple vehicle lanes present everyday hazards to bicycle riders.

Usually, designers are exempt from liability, under the state’s sovereign immunity law. A similar provision protects police officers from civil liability in reckless shooting cases.

Ministerial acts are different from discretionary acts. If road designers decide not to put a stop sign at an intersection, they usually aren’t liable for speed-related or other wrecks at that intersection. However, if they decide to put up a sign, they have a responsibility to maintain that sign.

So, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer could hold the city responsible for a bicycle crash if it failed to properly maintain the road (e.g. fill in potholes) and that poor maintenance substantially caused a bicycle crash.


Driver error, usually driver inattention, causes over 98 percent of the bicycle wrecks in Texas. Several factors could cause driver inattention, such as:

  • Aggressive Driving: Unsafe turning might be the most common accident-causing kind of driver inattention. Bicycles, especially children’s bicycles, are very hard to see on roads, especially if the street is crowded with SUVs, pickups, and other large vehicles. However, that difficulty isn’t an excuse for negligent driving.
  • Operator Impairment: Texas is one of the few states that doesn’t have a hands-free law or similar smartphone ban. Motorists who watch streaming videos or attend Zoom meetings while driving clearly aren’t concentrating on the road. Non-device distraction is even more widespread. Not everyone streams content on smartphones, but almost everyone eats and drinks.

Usually, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer must prove negligence or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, to obtain compensation in these cases.

Sometimes, the negligence per se doctrine applies in bicycle crash cases. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are liable for damages as a matter of law if they violate a safety law and that violation substantially causes a crash.


If a defective product, like a tire defect that causes an unexpected blowout, causes a bicycle crash, the manufacturer is strictly liable for damages.

Strict liability applies to design defects and manufacturing defects alike. Therefore, manufacturer liability is a lot like negligence per se, except a third party is legally responsible for the wreck.

Rely on a Detail-Oriented Harris County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.

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