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Possible vicarious liability in postal truck crash

There is a saying about the U.S. Postal Service: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." And as a recent news story from Bryan, Texas suggests, sometimes even traffic laws will not deter them.

A four-car accident that sent three people to the hospital -- none of them with life-threatening injuries -- began when a postal delivery truck allegedly attempted to make an illegal U-turn, thereby causing a series of other vehicles to collide with each other. First a pickup truck swerved to avoid hitting the postal vehicle, but in so doing crossed into oncoming traffic, striking two other cars; then a fourth vehicle traveling in the same direction as the two that collided with the wrong-way pickup swerved to avoid that accident and rolled over.

Somehow, the postal delivery truck came away from the incident without a scratch, although the driver was cited for making an illegal lane change.

The accident may offer a glimpse into some of the questions that personal injury attorneys deal with as part of their practice when it comes to automobile accident cases: for example, what role may vicarious liability play with regard to the U.S. Postal Service as employer of the driver? Will the concept of proximate cause come into play with the subsequent accidents? Does the postal service driver's citation raise the issue of negligence per se?

If you are ever involved in a car or truck accident, you may not know the answers to questions like those above, and you may not know to ask them. But an experienced personal injury attorney will know, and consulting with one as soon as possible after the accident is highly recommended.

Source:, "No one seriously hurt in unrelated mail truck accidents," Jordan Oveturf, July 16, 2015

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