A personal injury claim can help reimburse an accident victim for expenses related to injuries sustained in a truck accident. While a monetary award will never undo the damage done by a US Postal Service truck accident, it can help the accident victim afford much needed medical treatment and living expenses while they are out of work recovering.
In some cases, the accident victims must file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive a fair and just settlement for their claim. Because a US Postal Service truck accident involves the federal government, many people may not understand how to handle a personal injury claim involving a US Postal Service truck.
Because you are dealing with a U.S. government agency rather than the insurance company for a trucking company, you may need an attorney experienced with US Postal Service truck accidents.
About US Postal Service
The United States Postal Service employs over 550,500 people and delivers more than 160 billion pieces of mail each year. Employees of the USPS use almost 214,000 vehicles delivering mail through almost 40,000 office across the country.
What many people may not realize is that the USPS uses large commercial trucks to deliver the mail across the country in addition to the carrier vehicles that most people are most familiar with for home delivery.
Because the USPS has large commercial size trucks delivering mail, the same risk for catastrophic accidents occurring involving US Postal Service trucks is the same for other trucking companies.
Even though the USPS is a government agency, if a US Postal Service truck causes injuries during an accident, the victim deserves a fair and just settlement for his or her losses.
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Determining Fault in a US Postal Service Truck Accident
Determining fault in a US Postal Service truck accident is the same as in an accident involving a commercial truck owned by a private company. US Postal Service truck drivers can make the same mistakes as truck drivers for private companies. Some of these accidents causes include:
- Fatigued driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Poorly maintained vehicles
If the USPS can prove that you were at fault for the accident or that you were negligent in some way, you may not be able to collect compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. USPS truck drivers are trained to drive safely at all times; however, accidents still occur.
When the US Postal Service truck driver is at fault and you can prove that you did not contribute the cause of the accident, you may be able to collect damages from the federal government to cover your expenses related to the accident. You'll need to prove USPS negligence caused the accident instead.
What is the Value of My Personal Injury Claim in a US Postal Service Truck Accident?
Each accident claim is different because the injuries involved in the accident are different and the circumstances surrounding the accident are different. The value of your personal injury claim will not be the same as another claim because your injuries and your damages are unique to your claim.
In most personal injury claims, the value of the claim is based on out-of-pocket expenses such as medical expenses, lost wages, cost for personal care, over-the-counter medications, and future lost wages and medical bills. The other element used in valuing a personal injury claim is the compensation for the victim’s physical pain and emotional suffering.
In some cases, experts are required to calculate the actual damages in a US Postal Service truck accident case because you must determine what the future medical expenses and lost wages are if the victim will require continuing medical or personal care and will be unable to return to work due to the injuries sustained in the accident.
Who Do I File My Claim Against?
If you've been hit by a USPS truck, whether it's a large eighteen-wheeler or a mail delivery vehicle, you may wonder who you would direct your claim towards. As the USPS is run by the federal government, your case would follow different rules than if you were suing another delivery company.
For example, while a claim against Fedex may be covered under the laws of the state that you had your accident in, a claim against the USPS would involve federal law as well. In situations like this, it's crucial to have a personal injury lawyer on your side to help with determining who you would file a claim against in a USPS truck crash claim.
Filing USPS Accident Claims
USPS accident claims can be difficult to win without proper documentation. When you file a claim against USPS for an auto accident, you will need to have the police report from the scene of the accident, any witness statements and contact information, medical records and invoices, and bills from a mechanic or auto body shop for damage resulting from the accident to help support the claim.
Because USPS is a government entity, you will need as much evidence as possible for the claim. A lawyer can assist gathering evidence and ensuring you have enough.
You will also have to stay on top of your USPS claim. Claims against a government entity have a strict statute of limitations and failure to adhere will result in a denied claim. To stay on track with your USPS accident claim, enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Different Damages That May Arise From an Accident With a USPS Mail Truck
The United States Post Office is classified as a federal government agency, so different laws and rules are applicable when it comes to legal claims due to a car accident caused by a USPS mail truck. You can still recover damages for any injuries, financial losses or pain and suffering the accident may have caused you.
The damages you can recover may include:
- the full cost of your medical treatment from the time of the accident until full recovery has taken place including prescription drugs where applicable;
- the full cost of repairs to your car;
- the full value of past and future wages lost due to your inability to be able to work because of the outcome of the accident;
- an amount calculated for pain and suffering due to the accident.
- an amount calculated for loss of consortium, if applicable;
- punitive damages if you can prove the USPS mail truck driver deliberately caused your accident.
If your car has been hit by a USPS mail truck driven by a USPS employee, your damages claim falls under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and not state law as typically would happen if you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who is not considered to a federal government employee. The FTCA has very specific requirements and does not allow you to sue the USPS or the USPS employee. Instead you can sue the United States.
The FTCA Has a Set Procedure for Filing a PI Damages Claim
You must first of all complete Form 95 within 2 years of the accident date. This form is filed with the USPS. This asks you to state the precise nature of the claim. You need to provide the exact amount of damages that you require. After Form 95 has been filed with the USPS, you are required to wait at least 6 months before you may file a damages claim in the federal court.
The 6 month waiting time when you are not permitted to file a lawsuit is in place so that the USPS has sufficient time to investigate your damages claim. They may then try to settle your case or initiate negotiations with yourself or your attorney in order to bring about a satisfactory settlement without the need for a lawsuit. As soon as this 6 month period has been reached, you can file a lawsuit if you wish if no settlement has been reached for your damages claim.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident involving a US Postal Service truck or other vehicle. Because you are dealing with a federal government agency, special rules apply regarding how a personal injury claim must be handled.
Only attorneys with experience and knowledge of the Federal Tort Claims Act are equipped to handle personal injury claims involving US Postal Service trucks. Your attorney will advise you on the best way to proceed with your claim given your specific circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a US Postal Service truck, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling these types of cases. The attorney must follow the rules, regulations, and laws governing clams against a government agency in order for you to be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
Here are some crash scenarios you might find yourself in:
- Debris fell off a USPS truck
- Fender Bender with USPS truck
- Merging with a USPS truck
- Getting hit at an intersection by a USPS truck
- Getting run off the road by a USPS truck
- Hit by a USPS truck while parked
- Side-impact crash with USPS
- USPS driver didn't use turn signal
- Head-on collision with a USPS truck
- Rear ended by a USPS truck
- Misused turn signal by a USPS truck
- Multivehicle accident with USPS
- USPS truck backed into my car
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the US Postal Service, you may not be entitled to any compensation.