Los Angeles USPS Accidents Attorney
While USPS delivery workers are expected to deliver mail on time, they are also expected to use safe driving practices and operate their postal trucks following the law. Although mail carriers are responsible individuals, accidents can happen to anyone, and dozens of USPS crashes occur yearly.
Accidents involving the US Postal Service occur more frequently than one might think. When a driver’s negligence causes a Los Angeles motorist to be injured, the law office of Haffner Law is prepared to assist. Suppose you or someone you care about has been injured in a collision with a postal service vehicle. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
We fight for justice for all accident victims of USPS accidents. Call us now to speak with an experienced Los Angeles USPS truck accident attorney!
Why do I need a USPS Accident Lawyer in California?
It cannot be emphasized enough that claims for auto accidents involving the USPS should be pursued with the assistance of a knowledgeable and qualified Los Angeles USPS accident attorney with experience representing clients in lawsuits filed against the federal government. Only an exceptional attorney can assist you in getting the maximum compensation for your losses as quickly as possible in these cases, which present their unique challenges.
When you are injured in a collision with a regular motor vehicle, you usually file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company. When you are injured in a commercial vehicle collision, you typically file a claim with the employer’s insurance. If you are injured in a USPS trucking accident, you must file a claim directly with the USPS because the government acts as a self-insurer.
The process can be overwhelming and tricky. It involves a lot of official paperwork and complex legal procedures. But Haffner Law, a highly experienced and qualified personal injury law firm in Los Angeles, has decades of familiarity in handling federal lawsuits.
If you were injured in a USPS car accident, our competent USPS truck accident attorneys could help you. Time is crucial in a federal claim. Get in touch with us immediately!
What is the United States Postal Service?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the most important institutions in America. It is a market leader in the segment of the trucking industry known as courier and package delivery. The Postal Service is responsible for timely and secure mail collection and delivery throughout the United States.
The United States Postal Service operates a fleet of more than 230,000 vehicles. Almost every day, the roads in the United States are filled with mail delivery vehicles of various sizes and shapes. Employees of the government agency have received specialized training to acquire the necessary skills to meet postal demands. Despite the organization’s emphasis on safety and opportunity, mistakes and accidents can occur.
If you know someone injured in a USPS accident, please encourage them to contact our USPS accident attorney in Los Angeles, CA.
What are the Common Causes of USPS Trucking Accidents?
The following are some of the most common factors that lead to accidents involving postal vehicles operated by the USPS:
- Slow speeds and irregular stops
- Improperly loaded or secured cargo
- Wrong-Side of Vehicle Driving
- Wrong Side of Road Driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Poorly maintained vehicles
- Other mechanical issues
- Driving in inclement weather
- California traffic rules violations
When the US Postal Service truck driver is at fault, and you can demonstrate that you did not contribute to the accident’s cause, you may be able to collect damages from the federal government to cover your accident-related expenses. Contact a Los Angeles USPS accident attorney to learn more about the process.
What are the Types of Los Angeles USPS Crash?
Here are some USPS crash scenarios you might find yourself in:
- Debris fell off a USPS truck
- Fender bender with a USPS truck
- Merging with a USPS truck
- Getting hit at an intersection by a USPS truck
- Getting run off the road by a USPS truck
- Hit by a USPS truck while parked
- Side-impact crash with USPS
- The USPS driver didn’t use a turn signal
- Head-on collision with a USPS truck
- Rear-ended by a USPS truck
- Misused turn signal by a USPS truck
- Multi-vehicle accident with USPS
- The USPS truck backed into my car
Contact a Los Angeles USPS accident attorney immediately if you have been involved in any of these USPS-related accidents.
Who is Liable in a Los Angeles USPS Crash?
With hundreds of thousands of trucks on the road seven days a week, delivery companies run a high risk of causing or contributing to traffic accidents.
Most of the time, USPS car accidents are caused by driver negligence. But not all USPS accidents are caused by drivers. Other parties may cause some. Here’s a quick rundown of who might be held accountable for your USPS accident:
- The government agency, if the driver is a direct employee (since USPS is a government entity)
- The delivery truck driver, if the driver is an independent contractor
- The truck manufacturer
- The truck mechanic or maintenance company
- Other drivers
Federal Government Supremacy and the Tort Claims Act: How it Affects My USPS Accident Claim?
In the United States, all governments (state, local, and federal) enjoy sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity means you cannot sue the government without its permission. Although this rule may appear harsh at first, it makes sense when you consider it.
When you sue the government, any compensation you receive will come from the government treasury funded by taxpayers. In essence, you are suing all taxpayers, including yourself, if you file a lawsuit against the federal government.
The Federal Tort Claims Act of the United States (FTCA) grants limited permission to sue for personal injury. Any individuals injured or whose property is damaged due to the wrongdoing or negligence of a federal government employee acting within the scope of their official duties may file a claim for reimbursement with the government. To establish a valid FTCA personal injury claim, you must show that:
- A federal government employee injured you and damaged your property
- The employee was acting within the scope of his official duties
- The employee was acting negligently or wrongfully
- The negligent or wrongful act caused the injury or damage you are complaining about.
On top of these, you must also provide documentation proving that your personal injury claim meets all FTCA requirements. A Los Angeles USPS accident lawyer can make this process easy for you.
How Do I Prove the USPS Driver was At-Fault?
Even though mail carriers are protected by sovereign immunity, you can still file a personal injury claim under the FTCA if there is evidence that the mail carrier acted negligently. The legal procedure for this type of personal injury lawsuit differs slightly from the procedure for other types of personal injury claims.
A competent USPS accident attorney in Los Angeles can assist you in gathering supporting documentation to demonstrate and establish the four elements of negligence which includes
- That the driver owed you a duty of care;
- That duty was breached;
- That you suffered serious injuries as a result of the breach and;
- That you incurred damages
How Do I File a Federal Tort Claim after USPS Accident?
If you decide to file a personal injury claim against the USPS for monetary damages, you must complete Government Form 95. Following are some general guidelines for completing this form.
- Identify your injuries. You should not complete this section before receiving medical care. Ideally, you should wait until your physician confirms you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement.
- Specify your additional losses. You need to mention if there are vehicle damage and lost wages.
- State the factual basis for your personal injury claim. Explain why the USPS driver was responsible for the accident. Be mindful of your words.
- Complete Government Form 95. Form 95 is a legal document; the USPS can use anything you write against you to deny your personal injury case.
- Identify witnesses. You would need to provide their names and contact information if anybody witnessed the accident.
- Insurance. Provide information about your automobile insurance policy.
- Demand for damages. You must include a request for payment in a specific amount. If your injuries are long-term or permanent, exercise extreme caution. If the nature and severity of your injuries necessitate that you estimate future damages, work with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney and possibly an expert to estimate these damages accurately.
- Review the complete form and any supporting documentation with your attorney. Do not skip this step; even a small mistake could cost you dearly in the future.
- Keep a copy of your Form 95. Create a duplicate of Form 95 for your records. Anything you indicated in the form can either help or ruin your case. It also helps to be consistent in your personal injury case.
- Submit your claim to the U.S. Postal Service. Per USPS regulations, you may file your claim in person at any post office.
Time is Critical With United States Postal Service Accidents
Personal injury claims against a government entity such as the USPS have a stringent time limit. Unlike most other types of personal injury lawsuits, they must be filed immediately after the injury or loss.
Standard Form 95 must be submitted at any USPS office within two years of the occurrence of the accident. Otherwise, your personal injury claim will be forfeited. Act quickly and retain the services of a knowledgeable USPS accident attorney in Los Angeles to collect witness statements, medical expenses, medical records, police reports, and any other relevant accident information.
After you file a claim, the USPS has six months to respond to your settlement demand. If it accepts your demand, it will pay you the amount specified on Form 95.
If the USPS decision is unsatisfactory, you have six months to file a lawsuit. You cannot skip Form 95 and proceed directly to a lawsuit. You must file Form 95 and wait six months for the USPS decision. Again, it is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of a competent USPS lawyer in Los Angeles to guide you through this challenging process.
What Usually is the Value of a USPS Accident Case?
Everyone who calls our USPS accident attorneys wants to know how much money they stand to gain from filing a personal injury case. Because no two USPS accidents are alike, estimating case value is extremely difficult. Settlements or verdicts for trucking accidents range from a few thousand to millions of dollars.
Your accident claim with the USPS could be worth more or less depending on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- The distribution of fault
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, if you can prove the mail delivery truck driver deliberately caused your accident
What Kind of Settlement Can I Expect From My USPS Accident?
If the federal government approves your FTCA claim, your potential USPS car accident settlement could include compensation for the following types of expenses:
- Property damage-related expenses include repair bills or replacement costs if your car is destroyed.
- Personal injury and wrongful death-related expenses include past and future medical costs, therapy and rehabilitation, lost earnings, pain and suffering, permanent injury, permanent disfigurement, loss of consortium, and burial expenses.
If you or your car was hit by a mail delivery truck, your damages claim is covered by the FTCA. The FTCA has strict requirements and does not allow you to sue the company or its employees. You can instead sue the United States. It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a highly qualified Los Angeles USPS accident because the process differs from common personal injury claims.
Is There a Difference for Injuries Involving USPS Employees vs. USPS Contractors?
The United States Postal Service employs both direct employees and independent contractors. The rules are different if you are injured by a contractor rather than a USPS employee.
You can only take legal action against the government under the FTCA if you have been hurt due to an act of negligence committed by a federal government worker. Generally, you cannot file this claim against a federally-hired independent contractor. There are a few exceptions to this general rule, though:
- You may sue the government if your attorney can demonstrate that the government treated the contractor as an employee.
- You may sue the government if you can demonstrate that it had the authority to control the contractor’s performance and exercised significant supervision over that contractor’s activities.
Does it Matter Who Owns the Vehicle That Injured Me?
It could. This is one of the many variables that come into play when applying for government compensation, and the rules can vary. Who owns the vehicle and who is driving it are both relevant factors. Occasionally, it is simple to determine who owns the vehicle. Sometimes it isn’t.
We have all seen USPS delivery vehicles traversing neighborhood streets. They are specially designed to deliver mail to familiar street-side mailboxes. USPS operates a vast number of other vehicles, including larger delivery vans and 18-wheelers. And many rural mail carriers use their personal vehicles to deliver mail. These vehicles may not be adequately marked and are not always so simple to identify.
Regardless of the vehicle they use to operate, USPS drivers are comparable to other motorists. If they are careless, they may cause harm to others through negligence and should be held liable.
Call Our Los Angeles USPS Accident Lawyer Now!
The government may assert its right to immunity under certain conditions, but it does not put itself above the law. It acknowledges that, while acting within the scope of its employment, its employees may occasionally make negligent decisions that harm private citizens. No one should be forced to bear the financial consequences of an accident they did not cause.
Suing the federal government is always challenging, but receiving compensation for damages is not impossible. Consult a Los Angeles USPS accident lawyer if you are concerned about submitting an FTCA claim and are worried that it will be rejected if you do so. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers at Haffner Law are familiar with the process. We know how to gather the information that will satisfy each of the FTCA claim’s four points.
Your USPS claim will not be in vain in our hands. Contact our experienced personal injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation!