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Hit by USPS truck - advice?

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Hit by USPS truck - advice?

Old 09-11-10, 08:36 PM
  #26  
AlmostGreenGuy
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Personally, I would consult a lawyer before sending in the claim form. I wouldn't do a darned thing, or sign a darned thing, without the advice of a lawyer.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:50 PM
  #27  
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Did u use your camera phone to take a picture of the damages?
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Old 09-11-10, 09:00 PM
  #28  
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Lol, the incident is closed... If you buy that then i have another one... Sir, our policy is not to take any responsibility. I would like to process your claim, but we can't accept responsibility - it is corporate policy.

P O L I C Y.

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Old 09-11-10, 09:49 PM
  #29  
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Hmm, the USPs is only a quasi-government organization. I'm not sure the "can't sue the government" applies anyway, but I may be wrong.

After their response I'd probably be lawyering up though, even though I'm not big on that. That said, if the LEO said you can go you are by no means required to wait around for anyone.

-R
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Old 09-12-10, 10:56 AM
  #30  
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I also am not a fan of "lawyering up" but if that form has anything, on it that you don't understand, ( look close for fine print ) get a lawyer.

Alternatively, if the form has something on it which looks like a weasel worded way out for them, try whatsmyname's suggestion, a "Without Prejudice" letter explaining you don't like their form without a lawyer looking at it, and before you get into the extra expense ( for them ) can we just settle for a check for the enclosed list of documented damages/costs? Assuming your bike was not some ultra fancy carbon framed racer, and you are not looking for pain and suffering payments for the rest of your life, they'll probably go for it.
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Old 09-13-10, 02:30 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by PLUChris View Post
Anyway - first thing I was told was that the incident was closed because I had left the scene too early!

I'm not sure how we got there, but eventually she told me that she would send me a claim form, but that there was no obligation on their part because the incident was closed!

Hopefully I will get some more positive resonse from the USPS when I fill out the claim form!
The above from USPS sounds like a load of BS. Had you left in an ambulance, would she be claiming the same? This sounds like a gov't claims wonk trying to minimize case load, and clear one with no outlay. Having said that, there are VERY strict timelines for filing against the feds, in most settings. Think 60 days or so. Not that the claim must be completed in that time, but you have to file it and have your claim 'noted'.

I would suggest, as others have, that you consider speaking to an attorney who is familiar with filing claims against the gov't -- it is VERY different from filing against a commercial insurance company. the basic structure is described here: http://www.apwuiowa.com/Federal%20To...laim%20Act.pdf

Also - to whoever said the USPS is not a government agency -- this is almost completely incorrect; it is an agency of the government, though it is funded quite differently from others, and there are myriad other differences in how it operates, but:

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.

Last edited by CptjohnC; 09-13-10 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Added link to useful fact sheet
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Old 09-13-10, 05:15 PM
  #32  
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My husband was hit by a USPS truck that made an illegal U-turn.
What you are experiencing from USPS sounds so familiar - they will try to discourage and intimidate you to drop any thoughts of compensation.

1) Document, Document, Document. Pictures of literally everything (helmet, bike, damaged clothing, medical bills, intersection where it happened), write up what happened, get copies of police reports, copies of what it will cost to replaced the damaged items.

2) Do not talk with USPS. Get everthing in writing. Do not sign anything unless you think it will be compensation enough...make sure you are not signing anything that releases them from any liability if they are just repairing/covering medical stuff.

3) Hire a lawyer if you need to. This is what my husband had to do. It took two years even with a lawyer. They settled the day before the court date.
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Old 09-13-10, 06:07 PM
  #33  
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Hire a lawyer.
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Old 09-13-10, 09:06 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PLUChris View Post

Anyway - first thing I was told was that the incident was closed because I had left the scene too early!
They were surprised that I was even calling because, by not being there when their "investigation team" arrived on the spot, I had, apparently, absolved them of any responsibility for the incident (or something along those lines! I don't remember the exact wording they used, but it was exceptionally cold and heartless). I really did not have a clue what to say to this!

I got it together enough to point out that I had been told by the police officer on the spot that I was free to go and that the mail carrier didn't say or indicate that there was any reason for me to stay there, but the woman from the USPS just kept repeating that as far as they were concerned the incident was closed!

I'm not sure how we got there, but eventually she told me that she would send me a claim form, but that there was no obligation on their part because the incident was closed!

I've taken the bike to my lbs to get a crash-check (hopefully there will not be too much damage) and already bought a new helmet, but I'm going to have to live with the scratched glasses and throw away the clip-ons!

Hopefully I will get some more positive resonse from the USPS when I fill out the claim form!
Oh- 'eff that- it's "game on."

Get a lawyer.




My SIL was rear ended by a Fed Ex truck- that was an adventure in fighting a team of lawyers-

Best wishes, best of luck!
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Old 09-13-10, 10:21 PM
  #35  
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First I am glad you are ok.

California has a statue of limitations for filing claims, I believe it is at least 2 years and might even be 3 years. Take photos of the damage, get your police report, get an estimate of the damages from at least 2 bike shops and get the replacement cost for the damaged items and file the claim. Keep all the damaged items as they may request to see them. If you are not claiming injuries, I can assure you that they will settle your property damage just to get rid of you.

As for everyone who has told you to get an attorney, they will not help you unless you claim to be injured. Most take 33% of your settlement and if it goes to litigation it goes up to 40%. I handled claims for 5 years and can honestly say I never paid 33% to 40% extra so the claimants always got less when they used an attorney. On serious injury claims, they are sometimes needed, but I always enjoyed dealing with attorney on small cases as they had very little interest in pushing hard as it cost them money if the settlement did not come quickly. Time is money to a lawyer and it is just business.

I wish you luck as I have no experience dealing with USPS, but I do know that a property damage claim where there driver accepted fault at the scene and was cited is not a battle they would want to fight.
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Old 09-20-10, 08:16 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Pelotoner View Post
California has a statue of limitations for filing claims, I believe it is at least 2 years and might even be 3 years. Take photos of the damage, get your police report, get an estimate of the damages from at least 2 bike shops and get the replacement cost for the damaged items and file the claim. Keep all the damaged items as they may request to see them. If you are not claiming injuries, I can assure you that they will settle your property damage just to get rid of you.

As for everyone who has told you to get an attorney, they will not help you unless you claim to be injured. Most take 33% of your settlement and if it goes to litigation it goes up to 40%. I handled claims for 5 years and can honestly say I never paid 33% to 40% extra so the claimants always got less when they used an attorney.
1.03.01
OP -- I know this is old, but it came across in my digest, and I felt compelled to point out some things: Note that the California limitations period is irrelevant when dealing with an arm of the US Government -- sovereign immunity means that the limitations period is what the federal gov't says it is.

as to the other part of this -- this poster is correct with regard to personal injury attorneys -- I doubt you need or want someone like that. And if you can get the postal service to behave reasonably, you need no one. However, if they continue to stonewall, a general litigator should be able to solve this with a letter or two and a couple of phone calls. Even @ $250/hr, an hour's work is about right, unless the postal service really stonewalls. You want to find someone and set a budget for their assistance, so that they don't have any incentive to work hard but not smart. The hard part is finding someone willing to take such a small case.
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