How to Use a Private Investigator

How to use a Private Investigator 08-02-16

When hiring a private investigator it’s best to consider your needs, costs and time frame.  Ask for exactly what you want.  Discuss your budget and when you need the results by. Talk about the case in detail.  (This is best done in an email so the investigator can always refer to the email for specific details). Consider the experience of the investigator and maybe ask for a sample report to get an idea of what you’ll be getting. Tell the investigator how long it takes to get paid and what payment arrangements will be made.

The more information you provide the easier it is to obtain the exact desired results in a timely manner.  Each case or investigation has different needs or desired results. Always discuss options to reduce costs and creative ways to obtain desired results.

Investigations is a results oriented business, however you pay the investigator to perform the work and hope the results are favorable to your cause. Just making the effort sometimes gets you the desired results. I’ve gone out on many dog bite cases or slip and falls and just asked for the information or provided mine and have gotten exactly what the client has asked for.  Be it an insurance company or a plaintiff’s attorney or business.

Communications, street smarts, observation powers and question asking skills are what you should look for when hiring an investigator. How aggressive the investigator is also makes a difference.

If you’re a plaintiff’s lawyer looking to solidify your claim by finding or obtaining an independent witness statement then attention to detail and keeping costs down while getting the results in a timely manner maybe exactly the desired results.  Same goes for insurance defense work. Getting the cases to the investigator in a timely manner is critical.  Some clients even call the date they sign the client to get a witness statement or do a scene canvass as there may be video evidence that is time sensitive to obtain.

In family cases finding hidden assets or credibility issues will help either party’s resolution or custody issue.

Criminal cases require a certain skill set.  For some cases just an interview may be all that’s necessary, but interviewing witnesses also sets the tone for how the incident happened.

Civil investigations often require court searches or follow up to criminal or business litigation.

Collection cases are all about assets and bank accounts.

General investigations include many different requests to include background checks, business investigations and surveillance.

Claims investigations include surveillance for property / casualty, workers compensation and sometimes subrogation.

Service of process for difficult situations is also often requested as the process servers don’t go out in the evenings or on weekends and don’t interview neighbors.

Contact Terrence Green 714-705-3360 or 1-800- and email me at


New World Investigations & Insurance Consultants419 Main St. # 13, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, Fax # 714-848-1279,


Josh Chandler

Josh is a former Federal officer with over 15 years of management experience in both the public and private sector providing expert investigations and risk management services to numerous Fortune 100 companies. He is the senior case manager for New World Investigations and also supervises the executive protection and bug sweep (TCSM) teams as required by clients. He lives in Orange County, California where he enjoys the cold water, and introducing his friends to paleo cooking.