Update: We’ve answered more of your questions about getting into an accident with a USPS mail truck in our latest blog. We’ve covered the following topics:
- Statistics About the United States Postal Service
- Why do there seem to be so many accidents with USPS trucks?
- Who insures postal vehicles?
- Do I need a lawyer if I’m in an accident with a USPS truck?
- What happens if a mail truck hits me?
Who drives USPS mail trucks?
United States mail trucks are driven by regular people who are employed by the United States Postal Service and are on the road just about every day of the week. To give an idea of their activity, the USPS reports that there are over 75,000 mail carriers that drive all around the United States to deliver mail. According to the USPS Postal Facts, the United States Postal Office processes and delivers over 470 million pieces of mail a day.
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How many accidents with USPS trucks happen each year?
In December 2019, the United States Postal Service released a cover story for Motor Vehicle Safety Month. In 2019, there were approximately 29,000 motor vehicle accidents involving a United States Postal Service truck. Of the 29,000, over 13,000 occurred when the USPS motor vehicle was traveling straight ahead on the road.
What is the major cause of accidents with a USPS mail truck?
The cover story indicates that distracted driving plays a large role in these types of accidents. Though the USPS indicates in its article that its goal is to improve safety, it does not offer any concrete solutions to decrease these accidents. With texting, calls, social media, and countless other apps available to us through our cell phones, we should not expect the number of accidents due to distracted driving to decrease. Getting hit by a United States Postal Service truck means that your personal injury case will be different than your typical car accident case.
If I am hit by a USPS truck, what happens? How is it different from a regular car accident in Illinois?
In ordinary car accidents in Illinois, the law that will control your path to recovery is Illinois state law and how its Courts have developed that law. When a car accident involves an employee of the USPS inside one of their trucks, federal law, namely, the Federal Tort Claims Act, will be the law that will procedurally guide the case. The Federal Tort Claims Act imposes different requirements when filing a claim or lawsuit.
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I was hit by a USPS mail truck, do I need a lawyer?
Even if you have successfully dealt with private insurance companies before, dealing directly with the United States Postal Service requires strict compliance with its protocols before there is resolution. The process involves a different set of rules and is a complicated process. Failure to adhere to the process set forth in the Federal Tort Claims Act may result in your claim being permanently barred. This means that you will not receive the financial compensation you are entitled to. A person who chooses to represent themselves should remember that a judge will hold them to the same standard that they do an attorney. They will not be offered any breaks for important or dispositive deadlines.
Unlike private individuals, the United States Postal Service is self-insured and does not carry insurance on its vehicle. This is because it is exempt from state vehicle insurance statutes. Additionally, unlike private insurance companies, the money you can possibly recover is not limited to the applicable auto insurance policy that was in effect at the time of the accident.
While the Federal Tort Claims Act extends to all federal employees, the most common example are those that involve the United States Postal Service and its mail trucks because they are on our roads just about every single day. They drive large parts of their work day all around the community they are assigned to. The process of starting, negotiating, and finalizing a claim with the United States Postal Service is a difficult, complicated, and confusing procedure. An error or mistake may result in you receiving nothing for your injuries. In order to ensure that deadlines and requirements are met and satisfied, contact one of the attorneys at the Kryder Law Group to further discuss the details of your personal injury case.
What can I do if I’m injured when hit by a USPS mail truck?
If you’re injured when you’ve been hit by a USPS mail truck, you can start building your case by:
- Contacting an experienced law firm in Illinois that handles personal injury cases
- Getting a copy of the police report of your accident, including scene photos and witnesses’ contact information
- Getting traffic camera footage from the scene of the accident with the mail truck
- Referring the insurance adjuster or defense firm to your lawyer
The personal injury process is a stressful process. The adjuster will use aggressive tactics to try to minimize your case’s value. The Kryder Law Group is a leading Illinois law firm focusing on personal injury cases that involve employees of the federal government, as well as other matters that may require litigation in the federal courts system. The Kryder Law Group’s attorneys will deal directly with the adjuster or defense firm so that you have the peace of mind that your attorneys are working to maximize the compensation you deserve.
The firm has already helped thousands of Illinois clients recover the benefits they deserve. Call us at 312-223-1700 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to set up a free and confidential consultation.