What To Do If You Get into an Accident with a USPS Mail Truck?
We depend on those who work for the US Postal Service. They deliver our mail, goods, Social Security checks, and medications on a daily basis. However, with so many USPS vehicles on the roadway, it is not uncommon for accidents involving these vehicles to occur. If you or somebody you care about is involved in an accident involving a USPS mail truck, contact a Chicago car accident lawyer today at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP.
How Many Accidents With USPS Trucks Happen Each Year?
Even though many organizations do not like to discuss how many vehicle accidents they are involved in each year, the US Postal Service releases a safety report each annually. The data available from the latest reporting year from the USPS shows that there were around 29,000 accidents involving their vehicles. Of the approximately 29,000 accidents that year, around 13,000 of the incidents occurred when the USPS vehicle was traveling straight ahead on the roadway.
What Are The Major Causes Of Accidents With A USPS Mail Truck?
The data released by the USPS indicates that the Postal Service needs to address the following issues:
- Driving in inclement weather
- Seatbelts not being used by drivers
- Collisions caused by distraction or inattention
While their report stressed seat belt safety for their employees, it is crucial to point out that driver distraction and inattention could result in liability for an accident falling to the USPS. Additionally, the Postal Service says that around half of the around 29,000 vehicle accidents during the latest reporting year involved newer employees. This could mean that a significant cause of these accidents is driver inexperience.
If I am Hit By a USPS Truck, What Happens?
The immediate aftermath of an accident involving a USPS vehicle should not vary much from how a traditional accident is handled. The most important thing that you or any of your passengers need to do is seek medical care as soon as possible. It is crucial that you let a doctor evaluate you for any possible injuries, even if you do not feel any pain after the crash occurs.
Other steps you can take immediately following a crash with a USPS vehicle include the following:
- Using a smartphone to take photographs of vehicle damage, injuries, traffic conditions, weather conditions, etc.
- Getting the name and driver’s license number of the USPS worker.
- Ensuring that law enforcement officials come to the scene to investigate the incident.
- Getting the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash.
How Is It Different From A Regular Car Accident In Illinois?
Accidents involving USPS vehicles are going to be handled differently than traditional car accidents. In an ordinary car accident, your path to recovering compensation is fairly clear under state law. Usually, these incidents are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers or through personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
However, when an accident involves an employee of the USPS inside one of their vehicles, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is responsible for guiding the procedures in the case. The FTCA will impose different requirements when filing a claim or lawsuit in order to recover compensation. That is why it is crucial to work with a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney to help you through this process. Failure to adhere to the process set forth under the FTCA could result in your claim being permanently barred and you not receiving financial compensation.