The lawyers at Bellah Perez are getting a head start in their case against Uber for a fatal accident involving a self-driving car.
Their client, the daughter of Elaine Herzberg, wasted no time in retaining the Arizona firm. In the first-ever case, her mother was killed by an Uber car two weeks ago.
The attorneys will have plenty to work with as the media has jumped all over it, publishing videos, statements and other potential evidence in the case. It's not often that discovery is delivered with the morning paper.
The media has already distributed the dash-cam video of the Uber safety-driver looking down for almost five seconds before the car automatically mowed down Herzberg. The 49-year-old was crossing the street on her bicycle.
The latest reports say that Uber Technologies disabled the standard collision-avoidance technology in the vehicle. Liability, check.
Actually, the plaintiff's attorneys may have a little more work to do on that score. The technology company that supplied the car's radar/camera system says it was working fine.
"We don't want people to be confused or think it was a failure of the technology that we supply for Volvo, because that's not the case," Zach Peterson, a spokesman for Aptiv PLC. Potential defendant, check.
According to reports, the victim was not in a crosswalk when she was struck. Plus, it was dark.
"It's very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway," Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated managed crosswalks are available," she said, shifting blame to the deceased. Potential defense, check.
Of course, the personal injury lawyers will have to sort out more evidence as the case takes shape. But they already have enough to start it.