Brian White | September 8, 2022 | Truck Accidents
The United States Postal Service (USPS) delivers millions of mail items every day. Much of that mail is delivered by the over 75,000 mail carriers employed by the USPS. Therefore, it is common to see mail USPS mail trucks navigating Houston roads each day.
Just like other vehicles, USPS mail trucks are involved in traffic accidents. Data released by the government shows that over 29,000 USPS vehicles were involved in motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
What should you do if you are involved in an accident with a USPS mail truck?
- Report the accident to the police by calling 911
- Take photographs of the accident scene and make a video of the crash site, if it is safe to do so
- Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information
- Seek immediate medical treatment at a hospital or doctor’s office
- Contact a Houston accident lawyer as soon as possible
The rules for filing accident claims and personal injury lawsuits are different when the accident involves a federal employee or vehicle. Accidents involving USPS mail trucks are governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Filing a Claim Under the Federal Tort Claims Act
You must take specific steps to protect your right to recover compensation for damages. The process and rules are different from dealing with a private insurance company. If you do not follow the rules, your claim could be denied.
Furthermore, the Federal Tort Claims Act has strict deadlines for filing claims. Missing any of those deadlines could result in your claim being permanently barred.
To prove you are entitled to compensation under the Federal Tort Claims Act for a USPS mail truck accident, you have the burden of proving:
- A federal employee driving a USPS mail truck caused the accident;
- The mail carrier was on the clock when the accident occurred;
- The mail carrier acted negligently; and,
- The mail carrier’s negligence caused your injuries and damages.
Therefore, you need help from a personal injury lawyer with experience handling Federal Tort Claims. Pursuing and settling a USPS mail truck accident claim can be complicated and confusing. Without legal counsel, you could lose your right to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
What Causes USPS Mail Truck Accidents in Houston?
The Federal Tort Claims Act permits citizens to sue the federal government if an employee negligently causes an injury. Therefore, even if a mail carrier is not cited for a traffic violation, you can still sue the USPS for damages if the mail carrier’s negligent conduct contributed to the cause of the accident.
Mail carriers are not immune from poor driving decisions. Therefore, they can be guilty of:
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Wrong-side driving
- Improper backing
Other factors could contribute to the cause of a mail truck accident. For example, poor vehicle maintenance could cause the vehicle’s brakes, tires, steering, or other systems to fail or malfunction. Mechanical failure could be the cause of the traffic accident.
What Types of Damages Could You Receive for a USPS Mail Truck Accident Claim?
The Federal Tort Claims Act allows recovery for compensatory damages only. Therefore, you cannot recover compensation for punitive damages. You can recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Past and future medical bills and other costs of treatment
- Personal care and/or nursing care
- Loss of income, including future lost wages, benefits, and diminished earning potential
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life and a decrease in your quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Permanent disability and impairment
The Federal Tort Claims Act does not place a cap on damages you can recover. However, it does allow for limitations on damages under state law.
How much your claim is worth depends on the facts of your case. For example, if you sustain a permanent impairment, the value of your claim generally increases. Permanent impairments can result in future lost wages, ongoing medical bills, and increased pain and suffering.
However, if you contributed to the cause of the accident, the value of your claim could decrease. Also, the strength of your evidence can be a factor in the settlement amount.
An experienced accident attorney evaluates your case to determine the best option to recover maximum compensation for your claim. An attorney also evens the playing field when you are going up against experienced government lawyers who have endless resources to fight claims and complicated procedures intended to frustrate and overwhelm claimants.
Contact the Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston truck accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
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Houston, TX 77098
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