The U.S. Postal Service is proud of the fact that the mail gets delivered no matter the weather. It’s comforting to know those letters and packages always get through, but for drivers, it means you’ll rarely be on the road without seeing a USPS vehicle somewhere on your trip.
The little white mail trucks you most commonly see slowly moving from mailbox to mailbox can be a nuisance, but they can also present dangerous hazards on the streets around Philadelphia.
Mail Truck Traffic Dangers
A USPS report documented 29,000 accidents involving USPS vehicles in 2019. Nearly half of those accidents were attributed to newer employees with less job experience.
Add to those numbers the 2020 news reported by VICE that the little white mail trucks have been catching fire at an alarming rate. Since May 2014, at least 407 of the trucks have been damaged or destroyed in fires. Vice also points out that the fleet of trucks is around 30-yrs-old and badly in need of replacement.
A distracted delivery driver or even a vehicle malfunction can cause you to be in a collision. You may be left with serious injuries and unable to determine who should be held responsible when an employee who works for a federal agency was to blame.
A Philadelphia attorney from The Pearce Law Firm can help you with these questions and determine the best way to get compensation for your recovery from those who caused the accident.
Contributing Factors in USPS Accidents
Distracted drivers are a national epidemic and cause many accidents every day. Any employees who work from behind the wheel have many reasons to be distracted by their job. A mail driver can be focused on a delivery and not be watching the road.
Careless driving may be to blame for a USPS employee making an unsafe movement and causing a collision. There are many factors that can come into play when considering a claim against a federal agency like the USPS :
- Driver and U.S. Postal Service safety records.
- Driver’s amount of sleep and emotional state.
- Overloaded trucks and proper weight distribution.
- Poor maintenance of van or truck.
- Problem with a part on the truck made by the truck’s manufacturer.
- Defective tires.
Filing a Claim against USPS and the Federal Government
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government. This means a lawsuit against the U.S. Mail can be complicated. Basically, the federal government can only be sued if they give you permission to sue them.
The federal government allows you up to two years after an accident to file an administrative claim against them. This claim allows the government to look over your case and determine if they think you have a reasonable claim. It’s important to file this administrative claim as soon as possible due to the possibly long process ahead.
The government has 6-months to respond to your claim. They may deny it or they may decide to pay you some or all of the damages you seek to recover. If they deny the claim, then you have another 6-months to file a lawsuit.
This process may seem complicated and that’s because it is, but a local attorney who is experienced in these accident cases can navigate this process for you. The federal government does payout on injury claims, but it just adds a few more steps than a normal injury liability claim would have .
Compensation Expected in a USPS Accident Case
After an accident, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as you can, contact witnesses, and collect documents you’ll need to build a strong case against the USPS and their driver.
If you file a claim you can try to recover compensation for some of the physical, emotional, and financial hardships you’ve suffered. These damages can include:
- Hospital and medical expenses.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Past and future permanent physical disability such as a limp, scars, loss of a limb.
- Money towards counseling and psychological services to help you recover emotionally.
- Damage or destruction of property.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact a Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a USPS driver you will need to make sure your financial and medical care needs are covered. Filing a claim against the federal government may seem intimidating, but if a USPS driver is responsible for your injuries then you’ll need to seek compensation to protect yourself and your family’s future. You’ll need an experienced attorney on your side who can guide you through this process.
After any accident involving a serious injury, contact a highly rated Philadelphia Delivery Driver Accident Lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.