There are events in your life that are causing a good deal of stress to you, and/or your loved ones. You could be dealing with infidelity, a missing person, theft at your business, or crimes such as vandalism, stalking, or assault. So, you decide that maybe it’s time to hire a Private Investigator. If you’ve come to this juncture, it’s usually an indicator that law enforcement cannot help, or it’s a matter in which they aren’t making progress.
Once you’ve come to the decision that you need help, you’ll be confronted by the fact that you have no idea where to start. Like millions of other people, contacting a private investigator is outside their realm of past experiences.
A quick trip online will probably yield quite a few results (depending where you live), but then what? How do you choose the right private investigator for you?
An easy way to find an investigator is through an attorney’s office. Attorneys use different investigators depending on the type of law they practice, and their current cases. If you need an investigator familiar with financial investigations, find an attorney that practices financial law.
Law offices are good sources because you may be able to find information on the PI’s track record, history, reliability, and etc. If you don’t have friends that practice law, the next best place to start is the BBB. Look for investigators with a long history with the BBB, and those who have A+ ratings.
If both of these courses become dead-ends, it’s up to you do conduct your own search for the PI that will best match your needs.
Needless to say, hiring an investigator means that your life is emotionally trying. You may be in physical danger, a victim of fraud, or fighting a custody battle. Yet, as difficult as this time may be, hiring the best investigator to handle your affairs is crucial.
As with any service-based profession, there are talented PI’s, and those who are run-of-the-mill; the handling of your affairs in a professional, discreet, and timely manner depends on the choice you make.
What questions should you ask? First and foremost, don’t base your decision on price, and don’t ask how much services cost as your first question, but save it for last. Otherwise, you’ll be focused on cost and not what the investigator is asking you.
You will need to explain your situation to the PI in a detailed, calm and professional manner so that they understand what you need, and the circumstances that surround this goal. Investigations can be tricky, especially if they’re done correctly, keeping your privacy and identity protected.
Good investigators will ask numerous, detailed questions about the goal of the investigation and circumstances that surround it.
The investigator should inquire whether are lawyers involved, and if you are acting with their consent. You may think that hiring an investigator is the best way to get the job done, but your council may have a good reason not to agree.
Questions that you should ask include:
- How many cases similar to mine have you done before?
- How many years have you been in the business and what is your professional background?
- Are you licensed as an investigator in your state/my investigation area?
- What credentials are required to become licensed in your state?
- Do you carry liability insurance?
- What is the professional background of the investigator that would actually handle my case?
- Are you a member of the BBB or Chamber of Commerce? Any complaints filed? Explain
- How do you guarantee confidentiality?
Make the time to contact the BBB and Chamber of Commerce. See if there are any regulatory agencies to confirm the investigator’s status to determine the solidity of their reputation. Don’t rule out an investigator if they’ve had complaints against them; since you’re dealing with the law, there are bound to be negative reviews, and even lawsuits.
Ensure that you have a solid understanding of the complaint. Honest PI’s realize that you will be checking on them, and if they’re able, they will disclose the details.
If you find that you’re satisfied, talk price. If you feel uncomfortable, move on to the next investigator. After a couple of interview, you’ll know when a professional is speaking to you, and when one isn’t.