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Hit by USPS truck - advice?

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Hit by USPS truck - advice?

Old 09-10-10, 10:10 AM
  #1  
PLUChris
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Hit by USPS truck - advice?

Got run into by a mail truck coming out of a side street yesterday afternoon. Minor damages to me, but the bike and my glasses are both bent and my helmet is cracked through. I'm assuming that this happens a lot with USPS, do they have a formalized claims procedure or anything, or am I going to have to fight to get them to pay for any of it?
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Old 09-10-10, 10:12 AM
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one of my buddies got hit by a usps van he was able to settle out of court, maybe you'll be able to as well, hope you heal well
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Old 09-10-10, 10:52 AM
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Did any bike parts spill out from the truck?
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Old 09-10-10, 10:56 AM
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Document damage? get a police report? witnessing 3rd parties?


NB: personal injury cases are contingent fee, no money down,
% of the settlement pays the lawyer.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-10-10 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 09-10-10, 11:02 AM
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I hate considering how litigious we are as a society, but you really should consult an attorney, not so you can sue the proverbial pants off them, but rather so you can navigate the complicated and often confusing legal process effectively.
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Old 09-10-10, 11:23 AM
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I would certainly hope that you called a police officer to the scene of the accident, before letting the driver leave. If not, you may have no options whatsoever.
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Old 09-10-10, 01:15 PM
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If you got whacked, got up and rode off, then you may be out of luck. No evidence, no witness, just word v word.
If you got a report then you'd be good. Go to the USPS and ask, or call and ask for the main officer there. You may also need to call the postal inspectors. They are the investigative police for the USPS.
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Old 09-10-10, 02:00 PM
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Sorry to hear that PLU, what did the Dr. say? How is your back/neck?

When granny right-hooked me on her spree to Walgreens, I didn't feel I was hurt that bad. That was 6mo.s ago. Dr. says no riding for the rest of 2010
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Old 09-10-10, 03:18 PM
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Gubment

Good luck on sueing or even geting your stuff handled.
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Old 09-10-10, 03:37 PM
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the USPS has some sweet bikes, maybe you can get one as a replacement

sorry to hear, glad damage to you was only minor.
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Old 09-10-10, 04:28 PM
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Well ya can't sue, the government is broke
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Old 09-10-10, 05:25 PM
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Record your rides. Best bet.
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Old 09-10-10, 05:28 PM
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It's a lost case even if you win, they'll raised the postage stamp again.

On a more serious side, when something of this nature happen and you stick around, are they suppose to send a Postmaster or someone of higher authority out to the scene?
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Old 09-10-10, 05:48 PM
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. . . settle free postage stamps for life!?
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Old 09-10-10, 06:22 PM
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Consider not making a claim on them. It could be more stress than its worth.
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Old 09-10-10, 11:02 PM
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I have no experience of dealing with the USPS. In dealing with an insurance company, I was able to avoid using a lawyer simply by sending a Without Prejudice letter to them which said "I'm only claiming for my bike frame and my helmet, and not for the cost of hiring a rental car to get to work in the meantime, and I haven't incurred any legal fees yet, so just write me the check now and we don't have to bother with litigation or similar messing about". I enclosed a bike shop estimate for replacement/repair. They sent a check within a week.

Considering that car accidents can be $2000 for a damaged fender and a tow, they're probably going to be more interested in concentrating on fighting off bogus car claims than your legitimate bike claim.

Top tip: be incredibly nice to the person handling your claim. They deal with nasty/angry people all day and a little bit of honey can expedite your claim/convince them that you're legit and there's nothing for them to gain in slowing things down.
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Old 09-11-10, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by PLUChris View Post
and my helmet is cracked through.
That sounds like you could be seriously injured had you not been wearing the helmet? Hope you are OK--make sure to see doctor and do some tests/exam as some injuries can't be felt immediately.
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Old 09-11-10, 03:11 PM
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Thanks for the replies, everyone.

The mail carrier did call the police and medics, so I was checked over on the spot and statements were taken from all concerned.

However, when I called the USPS....

I'm not sure what I was expecting - sympathetic treatment, maybe? Or some sort of apology?

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!
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Old 09-11-10, 03:31 PM
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Normaly, I'm not a big fan of lawyers and long involved civil cases. I would hire a lawyer anyway if I got treated that way on the phone. That's b.s.
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Old 09-11-10, 05:15 PM
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1. Get a lawyer involved. Being cleared by the LEO on scene to get on with your life trumps their idiotic claim.
2. And to those who say you can't sue the government, well, actually you can (may not do any good). But the USPS is not the government- they are a regulated agency, but they are not funded by taxpayer dollars. They are self sufficient from the revenues they generate.

You could get the media involved. Virtually every news station has some sort of protection/advocate team.
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Old 09-11-10, 05:22 PM
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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!
There was a police at the scene? Get a copy of the police report and mail it with the claim.
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Old 09-11-10, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
There was a police at the scene? Get a copy of the police report and mail it with the claim.
This. LEO for the win.
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Old 09-11-10, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
There was a police at the scene? Get a copy of the police report and mail it with the claim.
And don't forget to claim everything that you're legitimately entitled to, which certainly extends to a helmet, glasses, any medical costs, and any time you miss from work as a result of the accident.
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Old 09-11-10, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PLUChris View Post
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

The mail carrier did call the police and medics, so I was checked over on the spot and statements were taken from all concerned.

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!
The incident is not closed till you sign off the claim. I suggest ignoring all that hogwash, fill out the form and see what kind of settlement they offer. If It's fair, sign off and tell them that the incident is closed.

You don't have to live with any damage the USPS caused. There is a clause where you can go for treble damages if you fell you are being treated unfairly by them.

"The amount recoverable by a person who has been injured in any manner, including physical harm, property damage, or violated rights, through the act or default of another."

Give them a chance to make a fair settlement first. If they try to bully you, push back.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PLUChris View Post
The mail carrier did call the police and medics, so I was checked over on the spot and statements were taken from all concerned.

However, when I called the USPS....I'm not sure what I was expecting - sympathetic treatment, maybe? Or some sort of apology? Anyway - first thing I was told was that the incident was closed because I had left the scene too early!
Sounds like the driver did the right thing - good on him/her. Course, woulda been even better if they hadn't caused the crunch in the first place...

Don't panic about the USPS call center person - they're on the phone all day dealing with people fabricating claims so it's not surprising that they're trying to fob you off.

As for the "incident closed" line, well...you can tell them that according to PLUChris Corporate Risk Management Policy, not only is the incident still under investigation but in fact it has received Big Dog Alpha 1A Priority Status.
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