Suing The Postal Service For Personal Injuries
We have been contacted many times concerning tort claims against the U. S. Postal Service. Typically these involve personal injury claims arising out of motor vehicle collisions where a postal truck of some kind is involved. Sometimes it is the mail handler delivering the mail and sometimes it is a large tractor-trailer delivering mail between districts. In either circumstance, where one sustains an injury as a result of the negligent acts of a Postal Service employee, it is necessary that the claimant file a Standard Form 95 with the proper representatives of the Postal Service as a pre-condition to any suit that might later be brought. The reason is because all claims against the Postal Service are governed by the terms and procedures of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which are mandatory and jurisdictional. In short, if one does not comply with the terms of the Federal Torts Claim Act, the claim will be essentially forfeited.
39 C.F.R. part 912 provides that a claim should be submitted pre-suit to the Post Office where the accident occurred an/or to the Postal Service District Office where the accident occurred and also to the Chief Counsel National Tort Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 39 C.F.R. part 912 describes the information that must be included in the claim presentation, which again, must be filed pre-suit. Once the claim is filed with the Postal Service Tort Claims Division, then in that event, six months must elapse before suit can be filed. If the claim is denied and/or not ruled upon within six months, the claimant may file suit in Federal District Court but may only name the United States of America as the defendant.
Anyone who suffers an injury at the hands of a negligent Postal Service employee, whether by way of a motor vehicle accident or otherwise, should confer with counsel who has experience with the Federal Tort Claims Act. Again, there are jurisdictional pre-suit filing requirements that must be followed otherwise the claim can be lost due to a failure to follow the procedures of the Federal Tort Claims Act.