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Postal Vehicle Accidents

In November of this year, a deadly postal vehicle accident occurred in Michigan. The two-vehicle collision resulted in the death of a Toledo man who was driving a US Postal Service truck. Unfortunately, postal vehicle accidents happen more often than many of us realize. Postal vehicles make frequent stops and starts, and they may travel more slowly than other vehicles on the road. Determining who is liable in a postal vehicle accident can be complicated and it is important to consult an attorney to make sure you are protected.

Who is Liable In A Charlotte Postal Vehicle Accident?

If you or your loved one have been injured in a postal vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Under North Carolina law, victims of accidents caused by negligent drivers have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against those drivers. Successful plaintiffs may be able to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages arising from injuries caused by the accident. The first step in bringing a personal injury lawsuit is to determine who is at fault.

Typically, the driver who acted negligently has a legal duty to cover the cost of any injuries resulting from the car accident, through insurance coverage or a personal injury lawsuit. When a federal employee, who is acting in his or her duties as a postal worker, causes the accident, the case becomes more complicated from a legal standpoint. U.S. Postal Service drivers are employees of the federal government. As such, they are protected by the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. State and federal government employees are protected from civil liability when they are involved in motor vehicle accidents, even when the accident victim suffered severe injuries.

The Federal Tort Claims Act

If you suffered an injury resulting from an at-fault postal service driver, there are some options available to you. You may have a right to file a personal injury claim through the Federal Tort Claims Act. Unfortunately, this process is often complicated because victims need to get through a lot of bureaucratic red tape. Those filing a claim are at the mercy of the government workers who are processing that claim, and recovering compensation is more complicated than a typical personal injury lawsuit.

You Must File Your CLaim Quickly

Typically, victims of personal injury accidents have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party within three years of the accident. However, when the victim files a claim against the federal government, they must file it immediately after the accident, or risk losing their right to claim compensation. If you suffered an injury at the hands of a federal employee, it is crucial that you work with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You do not want to lose the right to seek compensation for your injuries, and your lawyer will be able to research and investigate the Postal Service accident and help you develop your legal strategy, as well as file the necessary documentation within the statute of limitation.

After you file your claim, the government will respond, informing you whether or not you will be compensated for your injuries. If the government denies your request for compensation, you do have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit within six months of the denial. In your personal injury lawsuit, you will be able to contest the government officials ruling and seek additional compensation for your injuries.

In other words, when a government employee causes your injuries, you will need to seek compensation through the Federal Tort Claims Act. If they grant your request for compensation, then the process is over. If they deny your request for compensation, you will be able to bring a lawsuit in state or federal court seeking compensation for your injuries. During the six months between the denial of your claim and filing your personal injury lawsuit, your attorney can gather evidence and develop your case.

We Are Here To Help

Many victims of accidents involving federal or state employees can become overwhelmed by the claim and litigation process. The process of filing a suit is complicated enough without having to worry about the government denying your claim for not filing on time or not including all the required information. In these types of situations, it is best to enlist the help of an attorney who can help you through this overwhelming time.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our team of personal injury attorneys can evaluate the circumstances of your case and help you decide the best way to move forward. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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