United States Postal Service mail trucks are on the road almost every day of the week in Massachusetts. Thus, collisions involving USPS mail trucks can and do happen.
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Perhaps you’ve been involved in such an accident. If so, you may be left with injuries requiring medical treatment. These injuries could also prevent you from earning an income during your recovery if they limit your ability to perform work-related tasks.
You might be eligible for financial compensation in these circumstances. It’s important to be aware that the process for seeking compensation after being involved in an accident with a USPS mail truck in Massachusetts tends to differ from the process of seeking compensation in the aftermath of a typical motor vehicle accident in the Commonwealth.
After a Car Accident in Massachusetts: Basic Information
Taking certain basic steps in the aftermath of any motor vehicle collision is always necessary. Such steps include exchanging contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident, reporting the accident to the police, and seeing a doctor immediately, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured.
Massachusetts is a no-fault state. In Massachusetts, after a motor vehicle accident, a victim would typically seek financial compensation for their losses/damages by filing a claim with their own insurance. This would be their first step even if someone else caused the accident.
However, an accident involving a USPS mail truck is different. Rather than filing a claim with your insurer, you would seek compensation in these circumstances via the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This is an option if your accident resulted from the negligence of a USPS mail truck driver.
What is the FTCA?
The FTCA is a law permitting the victims of negligence on the part of federal government employees to file lawsuits against the federal government accordingly. Before this law was on the books, sovereign immunity protected the federal government from such lawsuits.
Still, the process of seeking compensation through the FTCA is somewhat complex when compared to the typical personal injury claim process. Understanding the nuances of this type of case is essential if you’ve been injured in an accident involving a USPS mail truck.
The FTCA is a law permitting the victims of negligence on the part of federal government employees to file lawsuits against the federal government accordingly.
What an FTCA Case Involves After an Accident With a USPS Mail Truck in Massachusetts
Although every case is unique, generally, the process of seeing compensation through the FTCA involves the following steps:
Filing an Administrative Claim
Don’t delay if you believe you have justification to file a claim with the federal government due to being injured as a result of a government employee’s negligence. You must take action within two years of your accident to avoid waiving your right to compensation.
Start by completing Standard Form 95. Although completing this form isn’t technically a requirement for bringing a claim against the federal government, taking this initial step is highly recommended.
Providing thorough and accurate information when you complete the form is essential. This is a task an attorney may assist you with.
The USPS Responds
Once you complete the form and submit it to the government, the USPS has six months from the time they received your claim to issue a response. In some instances, the USPS accepts a claim and offers an appropriate settlement. However, be aware that the settlement offer might be less than you’re owed, depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, lost wages, etc. Strongly consider reviewing the offer with your lawyer before accepting it.
In other instances, the USPS might deny a claim. Or, the USPS might simply fail to respond within six months.
Filing a Lawsuit
You don’t need to shrug your shoulders and give up if the USPS denies your claim or fails to respond to it. In this scenario, you can file a lawsuit. This is also an option if you decide you aren’t satisfied with the settlement the USPS has offered.
Just be aware that seeking compensation from the government by filing a lawsuit can be challenging. These cases are complex, and it may be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to gather evidence needed to show you are eligible for compensation because a negligent USPS mail truck driver caused your accident in Massachusetts.
At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have the experience necessary to investigate your accident and build a strong case. If you believe you have reason to take legal action against the federal government, review your case with our Boston car accident lawyers for more information. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.