What Are My Options After an Accident With a USPS Mail Truck in Miami, FL?
November 27, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Truck Accidents
You see mail trucks everywhere throughout Miami. Over 75,000 mail carriers work for the United States Postal Service (USPS). They deliver millions of pieces of mail each day.
Unfortunately, thousands of USPS mail trucks are involved in traffic accidents yearly. In a recent year, more than 29,000 USPS vehicles were involved in traffic accidents. Many mail carriers drive government vehicles, but some carriers drive their personal cars to deliver mail.
What Should You Do if You Are Involved in an Accident With a USPS Mail Truck in Miami?
Treat the accident as you would any other traffic accident. Obey Florida traffic laws by stopping at the accident scene. Then, call 911 to report the crash and wait for help to arrive.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, video the accident scene with your cell phone and photograph the vehicles. Ask anyone who saw the accident or stopped after the collision for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can help establish fault.
Do not admit fault for causing the accident with the USPS mail truck. Also, do not decline medical attention. If you do not go to the emergency room by ambulance, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
How Do I File an Accident Claim for a Crash Involving a USPS Mail Truck in Miami?
Hiring an accident lawyer with experience handling federal tort claims is essential. There are strict deadlines and requirements for filing claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If you miss a deadline or make a mistake, you could lose your right to compensation for damages.
To assert that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages, you have the burden of proving:
- A federal employee was driving the vehicle that caused the accident;
- The federal employee was on the clock when the accident occurred;
- The federal employee acted negligently; and
- The federal employee’s negligence caused your injuries and damages.
Even though the above elements sound straightforward, claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act are incredibly complicated. The rules and requirements can be confusing. Without a lawyer, it is easy to make a costly mistake.
Common Causes of USPS Mail Truck Accidents in Miami
Mail carriers are like all other drivers. They make mistakes and act negligently when driving. Therefore, the causes of mail truck accidents are similar to the causes of other traffic accidents.
Reasons for USPS mail truck accidents include:
- Improper backing, turns, lane changes, and parking
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Fatigued and drowsy driving
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Poor vehicle maintenance and defective automobile parts could also contribute to the cause of a mail truck accident. If so, you might also have a claim against a manufacturer. Defective roads and hazardous road conditions could make the city, state, or county liable for damages caused by a USPS mail truck accident.
What Damages Can I Recover for a USPS Mail Truck Accident Claim?
- Medical bills
- Physical pain and suffering
- Expenses related to personal care and assistance with household chores
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income, including benefits and future lost wages
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- A decrease in future earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- A decrease in your quality of life
There is no cap on damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act. However, the Act does permit states to limit compensation for damages. Additionally, the Federal Tort Claims Act does not permit recovery for punitive damages.
A Miami Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your USPS Mail Truck Crash Claim
How much you receive for your accident claim depends on the circumstances of your case. Even though the mail carrier clearly caused the traffic accident, it does not mean the federal government will cut you a check without a fight.
You have the burden of proving that the mail carrier caused the accident. The USPS might raise allegations of contributory fault and failure to mitigate damages. If you sue the government, you must convince a jury that the mail carrier was at fault.
The sooner you have an attorney working on your case, the better. Evidence can be lost or destroyed. Preserving that evidence could be the crucial step that helps prove your personal injury case against the USPS.