How to File an Accident Claim with the USPS
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has over 235,000 vehicles in its fleet, sharing the roads with drivers daily. Suppose you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with a USPS truck. You will take many of the same steps as if you were in a collision with any other vehicle, including calling 911 or the police, exchanging driver information, and gathering evidence at the scene. However, depending on the extent of your injuries and damage, you may contemplate filing a claim for compensation.
If you are involved in an accident with a USPS driver and wondering, Who do you file a claim with? you have come to the right place. This article will discuss the basic details of how to file an accident claim with the USPS.
Can You Sue the USPS for a Car Accident?
Federal law will apply if you are hit by a USPS truck and seek to file a claim. Specifically, the Federal Tort Claims Act will dictate the procedure to file a claim or lawsuit for damages. The Federal Tort Claims Act requires that you exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit.
How to File an Auto Accident Claim with USPS
While filing an auto accident claim for injuries or damages with the USPS is similar to how you would file a claim with any other entity or agency, some differences and specific procedures must be followed.
Most importantly, you must complete a Form 95, Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death. The form is available online and applies to accidents involving the USPS and other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On Form 95, you will fill in basic information such as your name, address, and date of birth.
You will also identify your injuries and damages, including physical bodily injuries, property damage (e.g., damage to your car), and any time missed from work.
Description of Accident
You will briefly describe what happened and state how the USPS driver was at fault for the accident.
Identify Potential Witnesses
Form 95 also provides a section to identify witnesses to the accident. You will need to provide their name and contact information.
Notably, the form requires you to list any auto insurance coverage held by you. It is essential to provide this information even if you believe the USPS was at fault.
Make a Demand
Form 95 requires that you include a demand for damages or a settlement demand along with your claim. You should not guess at a number, but try your best to determine your actual costs and anticipated losses. A seasoned attorney can help you calculate a settlement demand.
Submit Your Claim
You completed the claim form; now what? You might be wondering where to file the accident claim with USPS. According to regulations, injury claims can be filed at any post office facility.
Consult with an Attorney
Before filing your Form 95, you should speak with an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney. You want to provide accurate and truthful information but must be careful not to admit fault or undervalue your claim. You must also make sure to comply with filing deadlines. While you are not required to hire an attorney to pursue a claim against the USPS, we strongly recommend it to avoid unnecessary and costly errors.
Statute of Limitations
Any personal injury claim involving the USPS must be filed within two years from the date of injury. This is a year before you must typically file a personal injury claim in South Carolina, so you must act quickly. As soon as you can, you should gather your medical bills and records, police report, receipts for repairs or replacement, and any other relevant information or evidence to support your claim. Failure to comply with the strict two-year deadline can mean you lose your right to file a claim against the USPS.
The USPS has six months from the date it receives your claim to respond. If it accepts your claim and settlement demand, it will compensate you for the amount demanded. However, as it often does, the USPS can reject your claim. You then have six months to initiate a formal lawsuit.
Southern Carolina Injury Attorney
At Peace Law Firm, we know how difficult and scary it can be when you are involved in a car accident. It can feel even more overwhelming when the liable party is a federal agency. Let us put our two decades of experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!