What Are My Options After an Accident With a USPS Mail Truck in Gainesville?
Bill Allen | February 22, 2023 | Truck Accidents
If a USPS mailman causes an accident in Gainesville with one of their trucks and the accident injures you or damages your property, you can file a claim against the USPS. However, the rules are somewhat different when you sue the federal government (including the USPS).
Nevertheless, if you play your cards right, you can still obtain compensation for all of your losses. Although you can obtain economic damages and non-economic damages from the USPS, you cannot obtain punitive damages. Keep in mind that post office vehicle accidents are not at all unusual. In 2017, for example, the USPS resolved over 12,000 claims and paid out over $80 million in compensation.
What To Do After a USPS Truck Accident
The actions you need to take after an accident with a USPS mail truck are the same you’d need to take after an accident with any other vehicle, including the following:
- Remain at the scene of the accident if you can do so safely. This is a legal requirement.
- Call the police.
- Exchange contact details with the driver. USPS vehicles do not carry insurance. Don’t worry about that, however, because they have the entire resources of the US Treasury to back them up.
- Photograph the scene of the accident, any property damage, and any injuries.
- Cooperate with the police to complete the accident report. Obtain a copy as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment if you need it. When in doubt, err on the side of caution, as not all injuries present themselves immediately.
Gather any other evidence that you think might be useful if it is safe to do so, as well.
Applicable Law: The Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act governs personal injury and property damage claims against the federal government. You need to follow special procedures and comply with special restrictions to file a claim against the government. Considering where the government gets its money, you are, in effect, filing a claim against all US taxpayers.
Filing a Claim Against the USPS
Take the following actions to seek accident compensation against the USPS. Your best bet is to retain an attorney to help you complete the documentation for your claim, because every word has consequences.
- Obtain Form 95. Use this form to file your claim.
- Document your losses, including personal injury, property damage, and lost earnings.
- Record the facts surrounding your claim, including why you are blaming the USPS driver.
- Identify witnesses and provide contact details.
- Provide your car insurance details.
- Demand damages. Your attorney can help you determine the exact amount.
- Attach supporting documentation. This might include your medical records, medical bills, car title, two itemized property repair estimates, photographs of your damaged car, and a copy of the accident report.
- Submit your claim documents to the USPS. You can submit it to any post office.
Photocopy your claim documentation and keep it all for your records.
You have until two years after the accident to file a personal injury claim against the USPS.
The USPS then has six months to respond. If it accepts your demand, it will pay you with reasonable promptness.
If the USPS rejects your demand, you will have six months from the date of the rejection to sue the USPS. That’s not two years and six months. Rather, the six month period begins on the date the USPS rejects your claim, not on the date that the two-year statute of limitations deadline expires.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer With Experience Suing the Federal Government
Even if you plan on settling your claim out of court, you still need to retain a lawyer with a track record of winning in court. That’s because opposing parties tend to settle with lawyers they know they cannot defeat in court.
Not just any personal injury lawyer will do; you need one with significant experience winning claims against the federal government.
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471