Mail delivery trucks serve a valuable purpose and make our lives easier. Yet, these large trucks can cause significant damage when they collide with another vehicle or pedestrian.
Since 2020, United States Postal Service contractors have been in 68 deadly crashes that killed 79 people. What’s more, companies like UPS and FedEx have been involved in thousands of accidents since 2021.
You may be eligible for compensation after a mail truck accident. The Zimmerman Law Firm P.C. knows how to hold these carriers accountable, and we can guide you through filing a claim for your damages.
Common Causes of Mail Truck Accidents
The cause of the accident will affect whether you can recover compensation and how much you may be entitled to.
Here are some typical factors contributing to mail truck accidents in Texas:
- Driver error. Human error remains a leading cause of all accidents. It includes distracted driving, speeding, reckless behavior, and failure to yield the right of way.
- Poor weather conditions. Texas experiences various weather conditions, from heavy thunderstorms to icy roads. Adverse weather can impact the ability of mail truck drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, leading to collisions.
- Vehicle maintenance issues. Mail trucks need regular maintenance, especially since they have long lifespans. Neglecting tasks such as brake repairs, tire replacements, or engine tuneups can result in accidents.
- Fatigue. Long hours and demanding schedules can lead to driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers are less alert and responsive, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Inadequate training. Proper training is crucial for mail truck drivers, as these vehicles have unique handling requirements. Poorly trained drivers may struggle to drive safely.
- Traffic violations. Running red lights, disregarding stop signs, and other traffic violations can lead to collisions with vehicles or pedestrians.
- Obstructed vision. Mail trucks often have large blind spots due to their size and design. Limited visibility can make it challenging for drivers to spot pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles.
- Equipment failures. Mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or steering issues, can result in losing control of the mail truck.
- Road conditions. Damaged roads, potholes, debris, and construction zones can pose hazards for mail truck drivers. Uneven road surfaces can lead to loss of control or damage to the vehicle.
These factors are dangerous on their own, but they often combine to increase risk even further. For example, a drowsy driver is even more dangerous when driving on an icy road.
What Happens If a Mail Truck Gets in an Accident?
First, all parties should report the mail truck accident to their insurance companies. The mail truck driver will contact their employer to report the accident as well.
After this, the insurance companies will review the incident and attempt to determine fault. This involves gathering evidence, including witness statements and traffic law violations, to determine responsibility.
If the mail truck driver is at fault, their insurance company may try to offer you a settlement. Do not accept this offer without speaking with an attorney.
These initial offers are often very low and undervalue your damages. If you accept, you may be unable to collect more compensation to fully account for your injuries.
Why You Should Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting in a mail truck accident can leave you with serious, long-lasting damages. The mail carrier and its insurer will try to pay as little as possible.
Working with a personal injury attorney can help you build a strong case and maximize your chances of receiving compensation.
Reporting the Accident
An attorney will help report the mail truck accident to the carrier. They ensure that the report is comprehensive and accurately reflects your perspective.
They will communicate with the mail delivery company on your behalf. This is helpful because your attorney will follow the company’s specific reporting procedures. They will make sure your report favors you and protects your interests.
Building Your Claim
Your attorney begins by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident. They collect crucial evidence like accident reports, witness statements, and photographs.
They also work with accident reconstruction experts, if necessary, to understand the circumstances. Your lawyer will assess the extent of damages, including medical care, vehicle damage, and emotional distress.
After reviewing the evidence, your attorney will negotiate with the mail carrier and insurance company. They will present all the evidence and explain why the mail carrier caused your damages.
Many cases end in settlements, so you may receive compensation for your injuries at this stage.
Insurance companies don’t always accept settlement offers. In some cases, you may need to take your case to court. Holding a trial can be stressful, but your attorney will handle everything for you.
They will represent your interests and show the judge and jury why the mail carrier is responsible for your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Mail Truck Accident?
Accidents with mail trucks can cause significant physical harm and property damage. Your attorney will help determine the damages you can receive and how much you should seek.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to recover:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Wrongful death.
In extreme cases, you may also recover punitive damages, but courts rarely award these.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
The court may dismiss your claim if you file a lawsuit after this period. There are few exceptions to this rule, so you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is valid.
Schedule a Case Evaluation
Mail truck accidents can involve government agencies, insurance companies, and many other parties. Trust the professionals at The Zimmerman Law Firm to handle the process of filing a mail truck accident claim for you.