You may be wondering, “How do I sue the post office?” after a collision with a USPS mail truck in Los Angeles. If you get into a USPS mail truck accident, you can file a government tort claim and later a lawsuit if the accident was the USPS driver’s fault. Nevertheless, pursuing your claim will involve quite a bit of red tape if you sue the USPS instead of the driver. Suing the USPS might be necessary if the driver can’t afford to pay your claim.
USPS car accidents are not at all uncommon. The USPS employs over 70,000 mail carriers who are involved in over 29,000 post office vehicle accidents per year, mostly mailman trucks. It’s not that mail carriers are necessarily bad drivers. It’s just that they are on the road all day.
Federal Supremacy and the Tort Claims Act
All governments in the US (state, local, and federal) enjoy sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity means you cannot sue the government without their permission. Although this rule might seem harsh at first, it makes sense when you think about it.
When you sue the government, any compensation will come from government coffers, which taxpayers initially funded. If you sue the federal government, you are suing all taxpayers, including yourself, if you pay taxes. The US federal government grants limited permission to sue for personal injury through the Federal Tort Claims Act.
How Do I Sue the Post Office?
If you decide to file a claim for monetary damages against the USPS, you must complete a Government Form 95. Following are some general instructions for filling out this form.
- Specify the nature of your injuries. You should not fill out this section until you receive medical treatment. Ideally, you should wait until your doctor confirms that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
- Identify all your other damages, such as damage to your car and any lost earnings.
- Explain why the accident was the fault of the USPS driver. Be careful what you say. Form 95 is a legal document, and the USPS can use anything you say against you to deny your claim.
- Identify any witnesses you have located, and provide their names and contact details of these witnesses.
- Provide information about your automobile insurance policy.
- Demand damages. You must include a settlement demand for a specific dollar amount. Take great care if your injuries are long-term or permanent. If the nature and severity of your injuries require you to estimate future damages, work with an experienced personal injury lawyer and perhaps even an expert to accurately estimate these damages.
- Have your lawyer review the entire form and any supporting documents you will include. Don’t skip this step—even a tiny error could cost you a lot later.
- Make a copy of Form 95 and keep it for your records.
- Submit your claim to the USPS. Under USPS regulations, you can file your claim in person at any postal facility.
The USPS claim phone number is 800-275-8777 if you need to reach out to them that way.
Deadlines To Keep in Mind
You must file Form 95 within two years of the date of your accident. Otherwise, your claim will expire. Act quickly, and enlist the help of a lawyer to gather witness statements, medical records and bills, police reports, and any other relevant accident information.
The USPS has six months after receiving your claim to respond to your settlement demand. If it accepts your demand, it will pay you the amount you wrote on your Form 95. If it rejects your demand, you have six months to file an ordinary personal injury lawsuit. You cannot skip Form 95 and proceed directly to a lawsuit–you must file Form 95 and endure the six-month waiting period.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer To Help You With a Claim Against the Government
Suing the federal government is always a challenge, and you will need some help. Seek out a personal injury lawyer who has experience winning personal injury claims against the federal government.
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles, CA at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.