*This is a collaborative post*
The USPS, or the United States Postal Service, has existed for many decades. You probably see its trucks and employees nearly every day. They patrol Houston streets, dropping off mail and picking it up.
You might know your local postal carrier by name, and you may chat with them if you see them every day for years on end. Your relationship with a postal carrier will quickly change, though, if they hit you or your car with their vehicle.
In this article, we’ll talk about Houston USPS vehicle crashes. You should know some facts about these events, which probably happen more frequently than you might imagine.
How Often Do USPS Vehicle Crashes Occur?
29,000 USPS vehicle crashes occurred in 2019 nationwide. That means there’s a decent chance a mail truck will hit you while you’re walking down the street, riding your bike, or in your car.
Generally, mail trucks will cruise slowly down the road if they’re delivering mail. It’s not likely they’ll hit you in that instance unless the driver isn’t paying attention or you jump out in front of the vehicle suddenly.
However, if a mail carrier is in their truck on a main road and they’re not actively delivering mail at that time, a wreck might happen more easily. Also, a mail truck can hit you or your car in bad weather conditions. There’s always the chance the postal carrier has consumed alcohol or recreational drugs. Those situations make a crash much more likely.
What Should You Do Following a USPS Vehicle Crash?
The steps to take following a USPS vehicle crash in Houston are much like the ones you’d take if any other vehicle struck you. You’ll first want to use your smartphone to call 911 and report the crash. If you don’t have a cell phone on you at the time, you can ask the postal carrier to call for you. Failing that, you might see a neighbor or another driver nearby and ask them to make the call.
You should never flee the scene, whether you caused the accident or not. You have to stay there and talk to the police once they arrive. Make sure you don’t leave out any crucial details when you explain what happened.
You might want to take videos and pictures at the scene if you have your smartphone. They should come in handy later if the postal carrier disputed what you say happened. You can also get any eyewitness names and phone numbers if you feel you’ll need those.
What Happens Next?
At that point, you can head to a hospital if you have any injuries. If you feel okay, you might skip that step and drive your car home, assuming it’s in reasonable shape to do so. If a postal carrier hit you while were out walking or on a bike ride, you can walk or ride your bike home if that’s possible.
You will next need to contact your insurance provider if a postal carrier hit your vehicle. You need to tell them about what happened so you can get the ball rolling on your claim. If the postal carrier clearly caused the wreck, their insurance should pay for any vehicle damages and medical bills.
Who Pays Your Bills with Postal Vehicle Accidents?
If a postal carrier hits you with their vehicle, it’s not like a private citizen hitting you. The postal carrier has insurance issued by their employer, the USPS. Accordingly, the USPS should pay for any damage your vehicle sustains. If you have medical bills following the accident, the USPS should pay those as well.
It’s possible that the postal carrier will dispute what you say happened. Maybe they feel like they could lose their job if the accident indicates negligence or carelessness on their part. Perhaps they ingested alcohol or drugs before operating their postal truck, or maybe they let their phone or something else distract them.
If you feel like the postal carrier caused the accident, but they say otherwise, you should consider contacting and hiring a lawyer to fight on your behalf. An attorney can talk to you about your options, and you have a better chance of resolving the situation satisfactorily.
Postal carriers in Houston and elsewhere need to watch the road and operate their vehicles carefully. If one of them doesn’t, and they hit you, they need to make proper restitution. Only then can you hope to continue with your life.