What Are My Options After an Accident with a USPS Mail Truck in Pennsylvania?
January 3, 2023 | Truck Accidents
Understanding your rights after any type of truck accident can be confusing. However, knowing these rights when the at-fault driver is a federal employee such as a United States Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier can be especially confusing.
If you are hurt in an accident involving a USPS mail truck in Pennsylvania, it is vital you understand your legal rights and options. Continue reading to learn about what you should do if you find yourself in this type of situation.
File a Claim With Your Own Insurer
Most states are either fault or no-fault states for car insurance. In fault-based states, the party who is found at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the victim’s damages. In no-fault states, all drivers are required to maintain no-fault insurance, which they make a claim against if they are involved in an accident, regardless of fault.
Pennsylvania is unique in that it is considered a “choice no-fault” state. At the time of purchasing auto insurance, drivers select either full tort or limited-tort insurance. Limited tort insurance sets limits on your ability to make a claim against the at-fault party. You may not be able to obtain certain damages with limited tort insurance, such as pain and suffering, unless you meet one of the exceptions outlined in the law. Full-tort insurance does not impose restrictions on your right to seek compensation for your damages and out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. However, premiums for full-tort insurance are usually higher.
Because your right to sue the government may be limited under the limited-tort system, you may decide to file a claim with your own insurance. Additionally, Pennsylvania requires all drivers to maintain MedPay benefits, which pay for medical bills regardless of fault. The minimum limit of MedPay insurance is $5,000.
File a Claim With the Government
If the USPS employee was at fault for the accident and you suffered serious injuries, you may choose to file a claim with the government. The government is generally protected from lawsuits against it due to sovereign immunity. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act allows accident victims who were injured because of the negligence of a federal employee to pursue compensation for the damages they suffered.
To make a viable claim, an accident victim must be able to prove the following:
- They were injured or their property was injured by a federal government employee
- The employee was acting within the course and scope of their official duties
- The employee was acting negligently and wrongfully in such a way that it caused the victim’s damages
Additionally, the victim may have to provide proof of their damages and the employee’s negligent or wrongful act when they file a claim.
Deadlines for Government Claims
Government claims have different deadlines than most other personal injury cases in Pennsylvania. Deadlines that may affect your claim against the USPS include:
- Two-year deadline to file a claim with the government
- Six month-deadline for the USPS to respond to a claim after receiving notice of it
- Six month-deadline after the USPS’s denial of your claim to file a personal injury lawsuit
Because suing the government can impose additional complications into a claim, you may want professional legal assistance. If you do not claim all of your damages at the beginning of your claim or fail to make a timely claim, you may irreparably harm your claim. Contact a lawyer knowledgeable about government claims for help.
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
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945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
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