Delivery drivers can be involved in accidents just like any other drivers, and operators of mail trucks may even be more likely to cause a crash. They often have to navigate narrow streets, drive on the wrong side of the road to reach mailboxes, and avoid hitting pedestrians in residential neighborhoods. If you are injured by a United States Postal Service truck, your claim will be completely different than a case against an insured driver or a commercial delivery service such as FedEx or UPS.
Claims Against the Government Are More Complicated Than Other Crash Cases
The rules for filing injury claims against a USPS driver are similar to crash cases involving state- or city-owned vehicles in that the government entity takes responsibility instead of the employee. Unlike commercial trucks, government vehicles are not insured, so you will be suing the federal government directly for your injury costs.
There are a number of specialized procedures that you will have to follow in your case, including:
- Meeting federal filing requirements. All claims for accidents with government vehicles are filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). There are many limitations on these claims, but most notably they must be filed in federal court and they must involve an employee’s negligence committed within the scope of his or her employment.
- Identifying the negligent parties. In addition to a claim against the government, your accident could potentially involve the negligence of several other parties. For example, many government departments sub-contract delivery services to third parties. These third parties may be used to make home deliveries or to drive 18-wheelers loaded with mail from a distribution center to your local post office. If the vehicle that struck you was not owned by the government, but is owned by a sub-contractor working for the government, you may be able to file a standard injury lawsuit against the third party in addition to filing a government claim.
- Negotiating with a U.S. attorney. You may be able to reach a settlement during the administrative claim process and avoid having to go to court. If negotiations with the government attorney assigned to your case fail, you can file your lawsuit, which brings in a new team of attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department. Again, you and your attorney can attempt to reach a settlement, or you can proceed to court.
Our lawyers serve injury clients on a contingent fee basis, meaning we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To set up a free initial consultation, simply fill out the short contact form on this page. For more information, you can also request a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.