Chicago Post Office Vehicle Accidents Lawyer

usps accidents chicago

When we send a letter or order something for delivery, we expect it to get to us in a timely manner. However, post office vehicle accidents are a very real explanation for delayed mail. Just as with other motor vehicle accidents, post office vehicle accidents happen sometimes. In fact, USPS vehicles might even be more likely to crash. Post office vehicle accidents have a different claims system than passenger or truck accidents. That’s because they involve a government office instead of a private citizen.

At Curcio & Casciato, our Chicago truck accident lawyers understand that personal injury processes are stressful enough. However, adding a government office into the mix makes things even more complicated. We offer a wide range of services for our clients, including experienced representation, thorough investigation, and compassion. If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a USPS vehicle accident, call us at 312-321-1111 today. Find out what sets our Chicago auto accident lawyers apart and recover the benefits you deserve.

I Was Hit by a USPS Mail Truck. Do I Need a Lawyer?

Absolutely. Even if you handled a case in the past with a private company, the USPS requires a strictly-followed process to be completed before they even consider resolving a case. The rules and regulations involved in cases like these are far different from those in regular personal injury cases. In fact, if you fail to adhere to the rules set forth in the Federal Tort Claims Act could result in your being barred from pursuing claims permanently. Basically, you don’t get your compensation. Choosing to represent yourself in these situations might signal the end of your ability to even pursue a claim. You will not be offered any special treatment in comparison to someone with an attorney. That means you receive no breaks and no pardons for deadlines. For this reason, we ultimately recommend that you get an attorney, even if it’s just for reassurance.

The USPS is actually a self-insured entity. It does not carry insurance on vehicles. This is due to the fact that they receive an exemption from state vehicle insurance statutes. Plus, the maximum amount of money you could possibly recover is not limited to an insurance policy’s upper limits during post office vehicle accidents.

The Federal Tort Claims Act applies to all federal employees, but post office vehicle accidents are the most common examples. These accidents seem to happen so often for a simple reason: they’re on the road almost every day. However, the process of initiating, negotiating, and finalizing claims with the USPS is extremely complex. Any errors or mistakes on your part, should you choose to pass on hiring an attorney, will result in no compensation. The best way to meet all deadlines and requirements is to hire a USPS vehicle accident attorney.

Contact Curcio & Casciato today to have a dedicated accident attorney help with your case.

How Many Accidents With USPS Trucks Happen Each Year?

According to one study for Motor Vehicle Safety Month, over 75,000 drive all over the country to deliver various types of mail to United States residents. Additionally, they process and deliver approximately 470 million pieces of mail each operating day.

With such large numbers of vehicles, surely a large number of accidents occur each year, right? In 2019, approximately 29,000 post office vehicle accidents occurred. Of that total, around 13,000 of these accidents occurred as the USPS truck travelled straight ahead on the road.

What is the Major Cause of Accidents With a USPS Mail Truck?

Distracted driving actually plays a large role in the cause of these accidents. While the goal of the USPS is always to maintain or improve safety, accidents are not always preventable. With the recent increase of on-demand content, cell phone technology, and distracting screens, there is no perfect answer to this problem. Countless apps, sounds, and calls make it difficult to completely ignore our devices. Other causes of post office vehicles accidents include driving in poor weather conditions and insufficient training.

What Can I Do If I'm Injured When Hit By a USPS Mail Truck?

Begin by working with your attorney to build your case. The best way to start lawsuits for post office vehicle accidents is by doing the following:

  • Contact an experienced Chicago attorney that focuses on personal injury cases.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report. As with regular car accident cases, these reports serve as valuable evidence for your case. 
  • Also, take pictures of the scene and exchange contact information with witnesses.
  • If possible, obtain footage from traffic cameras that shows the accident.
  • When an insurance adjuster or defense lawyer contacts you, refer them to your lawyer. Say as little as possible to these individuals, as they will try to use your words against you in court.

How Can I Receive Damages in a Post Office Vehicle Accident?

As we stated before, your case against the USPS is completely different from cases against privately-owned companies, like Fed-Ex. Even if the vehicle that hit you is not owned directly by the federal government, it is owned by a subcontractor working for the federal government.

Because of this, the government still bears some degree of responsibility for the accident.

But can you sue the government?

When you seek damages, you basically seek them from the government. Notably, taking these kinds of actions against the government is wildly different from suing the driver of a passenger vehicle or private company’s vehicle. Similarly to a normal personal injury case, however, you and your lawyer still must prove liability on the part of the USPS driver. 

If you’re looking for commercial vehicle help, see our Chicago commercial vehicle accident lawyers.

Federal Tort Claims Act

This is your ticket to compensation from the federal government. Pursuing your claim through the FTCA is the only option. It allows citizens such as yourself to sue the government in the event of a negligent act that leads to injury or death. However, there are some limitations to the FTCA. Some of the most significant limitations we list below:

  • Victims of post office vehicle accidents may only pursue claims against the government through the FTCA. If, however, the vehicle that hit you was a subcontracted vehicle, you must pursue a more traditional suit.
  • Your claim must be based on the laws of the road in the state in which the accident occurred. The claim must also be permitted by the laws of that state.
  • Also, the negligence involved must have been committed by the driver within the scope of their employment. This means that the act must have occurred while they were performing their job duties.

Many other limitations exist, but these are the most significant. Even though many limitations exist for these cases, individuals still win a fair number each year.

Therefore, your claim is absolutely worth pursuing. The last piece of information to note is that you must file this claim in federal court. Because federal courts work much differently than state courts, you’ll want to find an attorney who has experience in federal court and is knowledgeable about their procedures.

USPS Mail Truck Accident Lawyer Chicago

No matter who your case is against, you need an experienced personal injury attorney at your side. At Curcio & Casciato, we handle all types of cases, both large and small. We also ensure that our clients receive the best of the best in terms of legal services. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to one or more post office vehicle accidents, contact us today. Call our Chicago office at 312-321-1111, or visit us online.