What Happens if a Mail Truck Gets in an Accident?

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The first thing you should do if you were hurt in a USPS postal truck accident is take care of any immediate emergency care needs, such as seeking medical assistance. Additionally, you need to inform the local police about the incident and wait for them to arrive at the accident scene to make a report. When in a collision, USPS drivers should take a few actions. These consist of submitting an incident report detailing everything that occurred, including the time, date, and circumstances surrounding the USPS postal truck collision. The police record, which you should seek through a personal injury lawyer, will be provided to the USPS. Your next steps and legal options will be discussed after reviewing the report with your lawyer. These typically include filing a damage, injury, or death claim with the USPS and completing several documents that provide specifics about what occurred and the amount of compensation you seek.

A mail truck is pictured driving through the city.

Federal Tort Claims Act

A mail truck driver is a federal employee and the USPS is a federally funded organization. The laws of the United States govern any claims involving the government. A claim involving a mail truck operated by the United States Postal Service (USPS) is much more difficult to submit than a typical accident claim. These lawsuits are handled differently from typical auto accidents and call for familiarity with federal court law. In the past 65 years, we at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ have filed innumerable mail truck accident claims. Our attorneys can help you obtain damages after a USPS accident because they know federal law regarding USPS vehicles. Compensation claims following a USPS accident are distinct from personal injury lawsuits. Legal counsel should be retained to assist you in making a claim and obtaining just compensation.

Mail Truck Accident Causes

In 2019, USPS trucks were involved in 29,000 incidents, over half of which involved inexperienced drivers. According to USPS statistics, December is the month with the most accidents. Winter weather, recently hired drivers, and a spike in workload over the holiday season are all to blame for this.

The main contributing factors to USPS truck accidents aside from inexperienced drivers include:

  • Distracted Driving – Many mail truck collisions occur while the drivers are traveling straight ahead, indicating that they were distracted. Distracted driving contributed to over 3000 fatalities in 2020. Even though it’s not just a USPS truck problem, USPS accidents add to the total. Drivers for the postal service are distracted because they check their GPS, look for addresses, and are often distracted with other work-related duties while driving
  • Weather – USPS guarantees that your package will arrive regardless of the weather. This means that when it’s nasty outside, drivers will likely make a lot of effort to get where they’re going. Inclement weather is a contributing factor to USPS accidents.
  • Irregular Stops – Mail trucks frequently drive below the speed limit and must frequently stop throughout their route. This results in irregular stops. This frequently occurs on highways where the average traffic speed is 55 mph. In addition, many of these routes lack shoulders where mail truck drivers may stop, forcing them to block traffic and increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Improperly Loaded Goods – If the loader or the driver fails to secure the cargo adequately, it could fall out and result in a truck and vehicle accident.
  • Driving on the Wrong Side of Road – Driving on the wrong side of the road is one way a mail truck driver could try to save time. The majority of the time, this occurs on suburban and rural roadways. Some postal carriers aren’t provided with a truck with wheels and pedals on the right side. Instead, they are forced to drive an older model or a personal vehicle, which forces them to sit in the passenger seat. In addition, their reaction time is slowed by the difficulty they have applying the brake and gas.

Mail Truck Accident

It is challenging to bring an accident claim against USPS because you must adhere to a lengthy legal process under the Tort Claims Act (FTCA). In a typical accident, you submit a claim to the other party’s insurance provider. You are, however, making a claim against the US government in an accident involving the USPS. The government is self-insured against losses. Thus they don’t need insurance. In accordance with the FTCA, the federal government assumes the role of a self-insurer and accepts responsibility for the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its workers acting in the course and scope of their official responsibilities. The same extent to which an individual would be responsible under comparable circumstances applies to the United States.

You must: in order to submit a claim against USPS under the FTCA:

  • Fill out Form 95, which is accessible online
  • Describe the injuries you suffered, such as physical wounds, property damage, and lost wages.
  • Explain the claim’s factual foundation and why the USPS driver was at fault.
  • Give any witnesses’ full names and contact information, if there were any to the accidents.
  • Information about your insurance should be provided.
  • Make a settlement demand on the claim and ask for damages. You can get advice from a lawyer on how much to demand. Your claim will be denied if you fail to include a dollar amount.
  • The claim can be submitted at any mail facility, according to USPS.
  • According to the FTCA, you can only sue the government if you can demonstrate that the employee’s carelessness caused your injuries while they were performing duties related to their employment at the time of mail truck incidents.

Statute of Limitations

There is a statute of limitations for mail truck accidents. This indicates that you have a specific window of time in which to submit a claim. If you don’t file inside this window, your claim won’t be considered valid. The two-year statute of limitations applies to collisions involving USPS trucks. You should speak with a law firm following the accident because you should try to make a claim as soon as possible to reduce the chance of time running out. You can obtain police reports, witness testimony, medical bills, and more with the aid of a law firm.

After you submit your claim and USPS gets it, they have six months to respond. Your allegation will be examined by the government, which will then respond. You have six months to initiate a lawsuit if they deny your claim.

USPS Lawsuit

The majority of FTCA cases are handled administratively. However, six months after receiving the USPS response, you can launch a personal injury case in federal court if the government rejects your settlement claim. Only after you’ve used up all of your administrative alternatives may you bring a lawsuit. Additionally, you lose your ability to sue if you don’t file your lawsuit within six months of obtaining a response. The easiest method to determine how much to demand is to speak with a lawyer. After being involved in a mail truck accident, a lawyer can assist you in maximizing and collecting compensation.

In a personal injury lawsuit against a mail truck, you should be reimbursed for the following costs:

  • Property damages include replacing or repairing damaged private or commercial cars due to an accident.
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Wrongful death
  • Funeral costs
  • Emotional Distress
  • And more

Depending on these variables, the amount of your injury claim settlement can range from thousands to millions of dollars.

North Carolina Mail Truck Accident Attorney

Mail truck accidents are distinct from typical car collisions. Even though their drivers are required to abide by local traffic laws, accidents still happen often. You require a law firm with an experienced attorney if you were involved in a USPS vehicle accident. Attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ are knowledgeable in federal laws. Each attorney-client relationship is essential to us. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted several personal injury claims against the government on behalf of our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured by a mail truck, do not hesitate to contact an experienced mail truck accident lawyer at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to schedule your case evaluation today.