Tips For Hiring a Private Investigator

You never know when you will require the services of a Private Investigator. In this article we will provide you with 5 tips for hiring the very best. The ‘P.I.’ as they are sometimes referred to offer multi-functional support for a variety of problems and situations. When most people think about private investigators they think about the many characters they have come to love on television like Jim Rockford from the old series “Rockford Files”, and Tom Selleck in the series, “Magnum P.I.”

Of course there is more to being a private eye than what Hollywood has presented. It takes skilled professionals to perform the job of private detectives. It takes hours of training and an abundance of experience to deliver upon the needs of an investigator in today’s high tech world. The investigator is typically associated with following around a spouse to see if their cheating in a marriage but that is only a small glimpse of the private investigators capabilities. There are so many missions a private investigator can perform so it is vital that you know how to hire one so that you can choose the right one for your situation. Here are those 5 tips for hiring a private investigator:

#1. Make sure the private investigator you are hiring is licensed. Licensing is required in most states (with the exceptions of Colorado, Minnesota and Idaho to name a few) this requirement is for a good reason, to protect the consumer. This stops people from waking up one day and saying” Today, I think I will be a Private Investigator” and jumping into a critical case and jeopardizing the results. Most people will only need a private investigator once in their life and this one time will be the most important.

In the state of Florida for example, one must be an intern for two years, that is two solid years of 40-hour workweeks. That equals about 4000 hours of supervised training. This intern/training program is under the direct supervision of a C licensed private investigator. Thus insuring that a competent, trained private investigator is taking on your case.

#2. Make sure the private investigator agency has insurance or they are bonded. The agency requirements vary from state to state but regardless of the state you are in they usually require their investigation agencies to be insured. A properly insured or bonded agency will insure and protect you in case anything happens. Whether it be negligence, errors or omissions or even damage to one’s property, a properly insured or bonded agency will protect both you the consumer from lawsuits and the agency from liability.

#3. Ask about the agencies/investigators experienced on your type of case. A lot of Private Investigation Agencies specialize in a certain aspect of investigations, while others specialize in many different segments of private Investigations. Make sure the PI you are hiring is well versed the type of investigation you require. Having your case become “Training Day” is likely to have aspects of the case overlooked.

#4. Understand the charges and payment arrangements before you hire the investigator. A private investigation agency should be able to give you a close estimate to the charges that will be involved with your case. Just as with a painter giving an estimate on your house a PI firm should give you an estimate on your case. The painter already knows how long it will take him to paint the house. How does he know? He knows because he has done it before. The same holds true with private investigations. They know that the average spouse cheating case takes about xx days and that a background check takes xx hours to complete.

Once you understand the charges involved you can understand the billing involved. The billing varies greatly with every investigation agency from an upfront retainer, to a fixed hourly rate, to progressive payments. Knowing the payment arrangement upfront will help you determine if this is the right private investigator for your budget or not.

#5. What equipment does the PI have? In today’s ever-changing high tech world, having the latest technology can mean the difference in winning and losing a case. The technology that the private investigator and/or private investigation agency has at there disposal can vary greatly. Are they a low tech, old-fashioned PI that relies on his handy dandy notebook and “street smarts”? Or, is the investigator you are going to hire equipped with the latest laptops with mobile broadband, satellite photography software, and members of large Internet databases? Having the right equipment to do the job is important when your case is on the line.

As you can see there are many, many tips for hiring a PI. The important thing is finding the one that can satisfy your expectations. With so many to choose from it is vital that you follow these tips and put in the research time required to make a comfortable choice. In today’s world the private investigator wears many hats. They can assist attorneys with case investigation, companies with security/information gathering and the individual with an assortment of possible problems. In addition, the investigator can help insurance companies as well. If you have a situation that calls for the services of a private investigator do not hesitate to seek out a professional that will fulfill your expectations.

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