The proper order of your investigation.

Did you know the order in which you conduct the different steps of your investigation can determine your success or failure as a private investigator?

When you’re conducting an investigation (like a vehicular accident investigation), you may be brought in by either side (the plaintiff or the defendant) to determine the truth and the accuracy of what actually happened and maybe even the extent of the injuries to one of the parties.

If you do that in the wrong order, it can change everything. If you conduct your interviews and people know there’s a private detective investigating this, then the person who’s claiming injuries can make sure that they’re always displaying those injuries even if they’re fake!

Obviously, that can really affect your surveillance.

What you want to do is look at every investigation you do and make sure you perform it in the right order.

In the case of an auto accident investigation, you might want to start with background checks.

Do the background checks, find out about people, maybe criminal history, which can lead to credibility. Maybe they’ve been in accidents before they filed frivolous lawsuits. Are they the type of person who is constantly going around suing people for money? Is that a scam they’ve pulled before? Maybe they lived out of state and you want to check those locations for criminal history, court cases and civil liability. As I say in The Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Missing Persons and Fugitives, you’re looking for family, friends and enemies of the person you are investigating.

Then you go into the skip tracing phase of your investigation. Naturally, this can overlap a little bit with background checks, but maybe there’s a witness you have to find or maybe you don’t have a good address on somebody.

Then you move into your surveillance, if that’s a part of what you need for your case. Perhaps your client has asked you, “Is this person really as injured as they say they are?” (You’ll find that in Worker’s Compensation rip-off cases all the time. )

But notice… you want to do that surveillance when they don’t have a clue that anything is going on. You see, nobody knows you’ve done background check. Nobody knows that you’ve done skip tracing. If you’re doing it properly those phases of your investigation don’t alert the subject of your investigation at all!

And, of course, the surveillance should not alert the person that you’re doing an investigation. They’re going to be acting normally and naturally. That means, if they’re faking an injury that’s something you can pick up on and document.

Usually it’s only after you’ve done those other parts of your investigation (background checks, skip tracing, surveillance, etc.), that you go into your witness and primary party interviews and start taking statements.

Obviously, if you do the interviews first, people know an investigation is going on and they can change their behavior in public and that can really effect surveillance!

Knowing the proper order of task in an investigation can really determine success or failure for you (and your client!).

Let me know if you have any questions!

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it on the home page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “The proper order of your investigation.

  1. We learn early in our careers to know and understand the aspects of ” MR MRS LAMB and for which the letters stand for. ie: Murder, Rape, Manslaughter, Robbery, Sodomy, Larceny, Arson, Mayhem, Burglary, including the who, what, when, where, how and why. I learned very early on that to be a successful investigator in any investigation you must be a quiet, patient, and a good listener. Most of all, Let the suspect and witness talk.

    • You are absolutely right. My personal pet peeve is when an interview interrupts the subject. Of course there are some (limited) example of when that’s the right move, but not early in the interview.

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