If you were involved in a United States Postal Service (USPS) mail truck accident, you may be wondering what your options are. An accident involving a mail truck or a USPS delivery vehicle is different than other auto accidents because it involves a federal vehicle. An accident with a USPS vehicle—whether it’s a car accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle accident—are covered under special law, which makes these cases unique.
Mail truck accident lawsuits are best pursued by a lawyer who understands the complexities involved. Your claim should be in the trusted hands of an attorney with experience winning maximum compensation in truck accident lawsuits.
The truck accident lawyers at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have been litigating trucking cases against major courier and parcel carriers for decades. Our award-winning accident attorneys are well versed in this area of law and have the case results to prove it. If you were in an accident with a USPS vehicle, give us a call today or fill out our contact form and we can get to work helping you.
USPS Mail Truck Crash
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the nation’s leaders in the courier and parcel delivery segment of the trucking industry, trailing only the United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx. USPS has a fleet of more than 230,000 vehicles Whether it’s a semi-truck and trailer, a box truck, or a traditional Grumman LVV light mail truck you see almost every day, America’s roads are filled with mail delivery vehicles.
According to a report to Congress, USPS motor vehicles were involved in more than 26,000 crashes in a recent year. That’s more than 70 crashes per day.
The First Things to Do After a USPS Accident
If you sustained injuries in a mail truck accident today, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you do not think your injuries are severe, it is best to have a medical professional evaluate you just to be sure. Whiplash injuries, for example, can become more severe in the days and weeks that follow a crash.
It is also vitally important to document the crash (if you can). Take pictures of your vehicle to document the extent of the damage. If needed, call for law enforcement and file a police report, which will help later on if you end up pursuing a claim.
Lastly, when you feel up to it, contact an experienced accident lawyer for assistance. As you’ll see below, pursuing a claim stemming from a crash with a mail truck can be complex and difficult for even the most seasoned attorneys to navigate.
Can I Sue the Postal Service for Damages Stemming from an Accident?
Generally speaking, yes, you can sue the postal service for an accident that injured or harmed a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. However, the answer to this question can get a bit complicated.
As a personal injury law firm that takes on truck accident cases in California and throughout the nation, our work in negligence-induced truck and car crashes is predominately in state courts. USPS truck accident lawsuits are different. Any lawsuit for damages stemming from an accident involving a federal USPS vehicle must go through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
The FTCA is a federal statute that allows private citizens to sue the U.S. government under certain circumstances in court claims alleging a federal employee (or contractor) working within the scope of their duties was at fault for causing harm. The rules for who can file and under what circumstances, are case specific and, generally speaking, very strict. This is another good reason to have an experienced accident attorney help you pursue an FTCA claim.
How Do I File a Mail Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Claims filed under the FTCA must go through a specific protocol. First, the claimant should file a Standard Form 95 for property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death. Your attorney can and should help with this process, because there are several pitfalls that go along with this form.
Also, any mail truck accident claimant must file within two years of the accident.
Second, the form must include a financial sum claimed for injury, death, or property damage. This “sum certain” section must be filled out or included in supplemental documentation for a claim to be valid. USPS will have six months to respond to the claim after the form is filed. The majority of FTCA claims are resolved on an administrative level. If no administrative settlement occurs, the claimant has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the USPS in federal court. Claimants typically have six months to file a lawsuit in civil court from the date the federal agency mails its denial to initiate an FTCA lawsuit. If the lawsuit is not filed within the allotted time, the claimant will be barred from pursuing the case.
How Much is My Claim Worth?
This is where an attorney can help. As mentioned above, the Standard Form 95 has a “sum certain” section that must be filled out. If you do this by yourself without the help of a seasoned attorney, you may be missing the opportunity to maximize your compensation and recover the damages you may be entitled to.
Everyone who calls our USPS accident lawyers wants to know how much they stand to make by pursuing a claim. It is incredibly hard to speculate case value for USPS accidents, as no two cases are exactly the same. Truck accident settlements or verdicts vary widely, from a few thousand dollars to millions.
In one of our cases, we sued a dedicated contract carrier for the USPS, alleging the mail carrier’s negligence and recklessness caused an accident that left our client with severe injuries. While the case culminated in a confidential settlement, our client received substantial financial compensation for her injuries. The resolution also sent a strong message to the mail carrier that failure to operate a mail truck in a safe manner will result in significant financial losses.
Keep in mind that legal damages that the victim can typically recover include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Costs of repairing or replacing property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium (wrongful death)
- Punitive damages
One thing we can say for sure: Your case is far more valuable in the hands of a trusted attorney with decades of experience in truck accident law.
Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me?
You should hire an accident attorney that gives you the best chance to win justice and maximum compensation. A nationwide law firm like Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has all of the resources needed to take on any opponent, including cases involving the USPS. We regularly work with many of the leading truck safety experts in the country. We know what it takes to build a winning case.
Even if you are far away from one of our offices, we will do everything we can to ensure your case is handled with a level of care that exceeds your expectations. Take the time to read some of our client testimonials to see what you can expect by retaining our law firm.
If you would like more information on pursuing a mail truck accident lawsuit, contact us or give us a call (855) 948-5098