A postal carrier’s truck was struck by another driver in Mahwah, NJ, ejecting the federal postal worker from his vehicle. After the driver was ejected from the vehicle, the postal truck continued down the road out of control, striking another parked car and then a utility pole before coming to rest. The postal worker suffered head injuries and was hospitalized after the incident.
The other driver was cited for ‘careless driving’ after the accident.
Motor vehicle accidents and premises liability cases (such as slip and falls on someone else’s property) are the most common “third party” cases, and are common for postal workers who are driving a route or are delivering mail or packages from door to door. There are complicated rules in place for how any recovery in a third party case is to be divided between the claimant, his or her attorney (attorney’s fees) and the United States government, who maintains a right to recover some of the funds as partial compensation for federal workers’ compensation benefits that may have been paid to the claimant. The government’s goal is to ensure that a claimant does not receive ‘double recovery’ from both OWCP and a third party case for the same incident, and that the federal government’s subrogation rights (rights of an insurer to be repaid by someone who is negligent and causes a payout on behalf of an insured) are upheld.