4 thoughts on “Tort claims for vehicle damage

  1. I believe you have up to two years to submit claim. However, once submitted, a fixed timeline is in effect:

    From APWU CBA – Article 27:
    “Claims should be documented, if possible, and submitted with recommendations by the Union steward to the Employer at the local level. The Employer will submit the claim, with the Employer’s and the steward’s recommendation, within 15 days, to the Area office for determination. The claim will be adjudicated within thirty (30) days after receipt at the Area office. An adverse determination on the claim may be appealed pursuant to the procedures for appealing an adverse decision in Step 3 of the grievance-arbitration procedure.”

  2. Article 27 Employee Claims specifically excludes motor vehicles and the contents thereof. The procedure to follow is in Administrative Support Manual (ASM), Chapter 25 Tort Claims: “Any person who inquires about how to file a claim should be advised to contact the district tort claims coordinator, who will provide a full explanation of the claim procedures and an SF 95, Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death. However, written tort claims can be filed and must be accepted at any Post Office or other postal facility.”

    How did it happen? The Federal Tort Claims Act only allows a claim against the Postal Service when the postal employee that caused the damage or injury was acting in the scope of their employment. The statute excludes a government contractor. Do you have proof with witnesses or surveillance video that an on-duty postal employee caused the damage to your vehicle? If not, your own auto insurance may cover it under the Uninsured Motorist Coverage as a hit & run.

  3. My Advice: Make 2 copies of the SF-95. One copy for you to give to manager to be time stamped/intitialed by manager and returned to you immediately upon hand submission of original form, and one copy for you to mail Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested to manager. Inquire as to status of claim after 2 weeks if you have not heard anything back from the agency. Have union rep do Request For Information pursuant to investigation of possible grievance if management does not give you a status update.

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