Truck Accidents

What Happens if a Mail Truck Gets into an Accident?

Posted by Trent Kelly on March 10, 2023
What Happens if a Mail Truck Gets into an Accident?

Many people seem to believe that mail truck drivers do not have to follow the same traffic regulations as the rest of us. This is simply not true. Even though mail truck drivers work for the federal government, they are not impervious to the law.

If you have been involved in an accident with a United States Postal Service truck, you need a truck accident lawyer. The attorneys at TK Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling such cases.

Common Causes for Mail Truck Accidents

A mail truck driver, preferring to be called a letter carrier, is trying to deliver mail in the fastest and most efficient way possible in order to complete a route on time.

Common reasons for mail truck accidents are:

  • Driver fatigue: letter carriers are often on the road for a long period of time, causing them to get fatigued and less able to focus on their driving
  • Distracted driving: a letter carrier may be trying to find an address on a new route or they may be distracted by other vehicles that are double-parked
  • Wrong side of the road driving: letter carriers may drive on the wrong side of the road to quickly deliver mail
  • Inclement weather: bad weather causes visibility issues and also poor road conditions; a concern for USPS trucks that only have rear-wheel drive and little traction
  • Slow speeds and irregular stops: letter carriers are traveling short distances to deliver mail, causing them to drive slowly and make frequent stops, making rear-end crashes more likely

How to File a Claim with the USPS

If you have to file a claim with USPS, you will not be able to file a claim directly through the letter carrier’s insurance. The federal government is self-insured for any losses, so you will need to make your claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

In order to make a claim under the FTCA, you must demonstrate the following:

  • That you were injured by a federal government employee;
  • The employee was acting under the scope of his employment;
  • The employee acted negligently or wrongfully; and
  • The employee’s actions caused your injuries.

If you are filing a personal injury claim, you must present the following evidence:

  • A written report by a physician describing the extent of your injury and disability; the claimant may be required to take a physical or mental examination administered by a physician employed by the USPS or another federal agency;
  • Itemized medical, dental, and/or hospital bills;
  • Report for projected medical bills (if applicable);
  • A statement detailing lost earnings;
  • Any other evidence demonstrating the responsibility of the USPS for damages claimed.

Since the federal government is self-insured, any claim filed against the federal government is treated the same as if you were filing a lawsuit against an individual.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim?

Under the Code of Federal Regulations (39 CFR Part 912), you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the USPS.

Once you file your claim, the government will issue a response. If they accept your claim, they will offer you a settlement. If the federal government denies your claim, then you are only allowed to request that the claim be reconsidered once.

If the settlement offer does not cover your losses, or your claim is denied a second time, you may consider filing a lawsuit. However, you only have six months after the accident to bring your case to court.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Just like the rest of us, a federal government employee is not immune to the law. If you have suffered injuries due to a mail truck accident, don’t delay. Contact TK Injury Lawyers to receive your free consultation and to discuss your options for relief.

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