Post Office Vehicle Accidents
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a mail or postal vehicle, you should contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick. Our Ohio personal injury attorneys can answer your questions about expert witnesses, compensation, and everything in-between.
USPS Mail Truck Accident lawyers
An accident involving two passenger vehicles is fairly straightforward. Generally, the at-fault party will take care of the other driver’s vehicle damage and medical bills by filing a claim with their private car insurance. But when the accident involves a United States Postal Service (USPS) mail truck, the process is a bit different. If a letter carrier hit your car, it’s a good idea to talk to our postal vehicle accident lawyers about how to proceed with a claim.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our Ohio motor vehicle accident lawyers have significant experience with these claims and can help you through every step of your case. For a free case consultation, contact us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
Accidents Involving USPS Vehicles
The mail truck most familiar to people is the Long Life Vehicle (LLV). This is the boxy mail truck with the steering wheel on the right side that you most often see stopping in front of mailboxes. Those trucks don’t ever seem to drive too quickly – can they cause accidents?
It seems unusual, but mail truck accidents do occur. Drivers may pass by a parked car too closely and bump into it. Letter carriers can get distracted by their job tasks and accidentally rear end you, or they could even neglect to stop at a stop sign. Although we don’t see them travel very fast, LLVs can travel at speeds above 25 miles per hour, and their rugged metal exterior can do significant damage. If you have questions about your legal options following a collision with a mail truck, contact our postal vehicle accident lawyers today.
Mail Truck Accidents are Different from Regular Claims
An accident that involves a mail truck is different than a typical car accident because the U.S. Postal Service is a government organization. As such, the letter carrier driving the mail truck is a federal employee acting on behalf of their employer, and they do not have private car insurance on the LLV (or other mail truck) they are driving.
The reason mail trucks are uninsured is because the government, their agents, and employees have immunity from certain liabilities. When a postal truck hits your car, you can’t file a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Filing a Federal Tort Claim after a Mail Truck Accident
Your case will need to be filed according to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
The FTCA is intended to waive some of the government’s immunity and allow citizens to hold the government accountable for their lack of oversight, or the negligent actions of their employees. The FTCA operates similarly to a regular personal injury lawsuit. When filing, you should show that:
- You were injured, or a government employee damaged your personal property
- The government employee was acting within the scope of their official duties
- The government employee was acting in a negligent manner
- The government employee’s negligent actions directly resulted in your injury or the damage to your property
Damages & Compensation after a Postal Vehicle Accident?
While the government does enjoy some immunity, that does not mean you aren’t entitled to anything when you’re the victim of a negligent mail truck driver. Rather, it means you have to follow a different process to collect damages.
You will likely need to show a dollar figure that covers your damages, such as your medical bills or the cost of your car repair. The government has six months to review your claim, after which time it will decide whether or not to “admit” it. If your claim is admitted, you will receive some form of compensation. The amount of compensation depends on what the government decides. The amount may be anywhere from the full amount you requested to a fraction of the sum.
If you’ve filed an FTCA claim and are unhappy with the results, contact the postal vehicle accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. We can review your situation and advise you on the best legal options moving forward.
Statute of Limitations in Mail Truck Accident Cases
There is a two-year statute of limitations on FTCA filings. That timeframe begins the day you get in the accident, which means you must reach out to an attorney quickly. If you were injured, it might seem daunting to even get started on a claim. A skilled postal vehicle accident lawyer can get started on your case right away. That way, you can spend time recovering while having the peace of mind knowing that your claim will be filed promptly.
Frequently Asked USPS Accident Questions
Accidents with mail trucks are more common than you might think but dealing with the aftermath is a complicated ordeal. Let our motor vehicle accident lawyers address your questions and explain your options.
Who Insures Postal Vehicles?
Unlike privately owned cars and trucks, the United States Postal Service is self-insured. They do not carry typical insurance on their vehicles because they are exempt from state vehicle insurance laws.
What if I’m Hit by a Mail Truck?
As a federal government agency, the USPS requires customers to follow a different legal procedure for filing an accident claim. You can report incidents that cause injuries at the nearest post office or at 1-800-275-8777.
How Do I Prove the USPS Driver Was At-Fault?
Mail carriers are protected by sovereign immunity, but if there’re evident of negligence, you can still file a claim under the FTCA. The legal procedure is a little different that other personal injury claims, but still requires supporting documentation demonstrating that the driver owed you a duty of care, it was breached, and you suffered damages as a result. This included medical reports, witness statements, police reports, and other evidence.
How Long Do USPS Claims Take?
Once a claim is submitted to the United States Postal Service, it investigate and determine if it’s valid within ten days. But the time to process a valid claim and secure compensation depends on various factors, including the extent of loss or damage.
Is it Illegal to pass a USPS Vehicle?
Mail trucks must follow the normal rules of the road. If the postal vehicle is stopped at a mailbox, you can pass it on the left, so long as you’re following traffic laws and not crossing the double line.
Contact Our Postal Vehicle Accident Lawyers
The government can claim immunity in certain circumstances, but it is not above the law. From time to time, it recognizes that its employees, while acting within the scope of their job, may make negligent decisions that hurt private citizens. Nobody should be forced to suffer the financial ramifications of an accident that wasn’t their fault.
While it may be a bit more difficult to get damages awarded by the federal government, it’s not impossible. If you’re concerned about filing an FTCA claim and are worried it be rejected, contact an attorney. The postal vehicle accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have helped numerous Ohio citizens file claims against the government. We are familiar with the process, and we know how to collect information that will satisfy all four points of an FTCA claim.