An accident with a United States Postal Service (USPS) truck can be just as harrowing as any other car accident. First, you must remain calm and take steps to ensure your safety and that of other people involved in the accident. After ensuring that everyone is safe, here are some tips.
What Should I Do After a USPS Truck Accident?
If there are any injuries, you should immediately call 911 to get medical attention. Additionally, you need to report the accident to the police. Even if there are no injuries, it is still important to report the accident. A police report is a useful tool in determining who is at fault.
Exchange information with the USPS truck driver, including their name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number.
Document the Scene
It can be incredibly helpful to document the accident by taking pictures of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles, any injuries, and the surrounding area. Take pictures from different angles to capture as much detail as possible. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information, as they may be able to provide valuable information in the event of a legal dispute.
Notify the Insurance Company
Then, notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the information you collected, including the information of the USPS driver and any witnesses. Be honest and provide as much detail as you can, including the reference number or copy of your police report. However, do not give a statement to anyone from the USPS or their insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney. Remember, anything you say—even seemingly innocent statements—could be used against you later.
Get a Lawyer
If you were injured in the accident or had significant damage to your vehicle, you should consider seeking legal advice. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Additionally, you should contact USPS to report the accident and file a claim. The USPS has a claims process you must follow to receive compensation.
What Happens If a USPS Truck Hits Your Car
If a USPS truck hits your car, you should know a few things about what happens next.
Implications of a Government Lawsuit
After a USPS mail truck accident, you can file a government tort claim and later a lawsuit if the accident was the USPS driver’s fault. Nevertheless, pursuing your claim will involve quite a bit of red tape if you sue the USPS instead of the driver.
If the USPS driver is found to be at fault for the accident, the government will be responsible for covering the damages. It’s important to note that USPS trucks are considered government vehicles, and the drivers are government employees, so the legal process differs from a standard car accident.
Filing a Federal Tort Claim
While state laws handle most personal injury lawsuits, the Federal Tort Claims Act guides lawsuits against the federal government. If you’re involved in a wreck caused by a USPS driver, an attorney who understands FTCA can help you recover compensation.
To make a claim, you fill out Standard Form 95 Claim form. Ensuring this form is filled out correctly is extremely important. Though this form may seem simple enough for you to complete on your own, your responses to the questions on the form will be carefully scrutinized by the federal government agency and its attorneys.
Additionally, the claim must be submitted within two years of the incident and requires a sum of your damages. With your claim, be sure to provide them with all the information you collected and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you include the information needed to obtain a fair USPS car accident settlement.
How Does the USPS Determine Fault?
The USPS may be liable for any injuries resulting from a wrongful or negligent act by postal workers during their employment. After filing a claim, the government investigates who is at fault to determine whether the USPS is liable. The USPS has six months to respond and may choose to admit or deny your claim.
The first step in the process is to gather information about the accident. Gathering information includes getting statements from the parties involved, witnesses, and any available video or photographic evidence. That is why the above-referenced steps to take after an accident with a USPS truck are so valuable. The investigators will also examine the physical evidence at the accident scene, such as tire marks, vehicle damage, and debris.
Determine Cause and Fault
Once the USPS collects all the information, the investigators will analyze it to determine the cause of the accident. Several factors can contribute to an accident, including driver error, vehicle malfunctions, road conditions, and weather. The investigators will consider all of these factors when making their determination.
Establishing liability requires the following.
- Showing that the USPS mail truck driver owed you a duty of care to avoid harming you by taking reasonable, prudent measures.
- Determining that the USPS mail truck driver breached this duty of care, either from carelessness or omission.
- Proving that you have injuries and damages caused by this breach of care.
A decision regarding compensation for your accident will be based on whether or not the USPS believes their driver was liable for the accident.
The government’s determination of fault is not necessarily the final word on the matter. If the parties involved dispute the government’s findings, they can file a lawsuit to seek compensation in federal court.
A Lawyer Can Help After an Accident with a USPS Truck
If a USPS truck injured you or a loved one, we can help. Gerling Law Injury Attorneys have represented thousands of people and recovered more than $500 Million for our clients. With over five decades of experience, Gerling Law has firmly established itself as willing to take on insurance companies, large retailer claims, and even claims against the government. If you want your claim handled by experienced, professional attorneys, Gerling Law is your best bet. Contact us today.