You’ve seen them on television – those private investigators who can solve any crime or get the true story on any disaster while the authorities fiddle around without a clue. If you are old enough to remember “The Rockford Files,” then you know how creative television private eyes can be. The work of real-life private investigators is more boring, generally consisting of tenacity, a good questioning manner, and an eye for detail.
For many accident cases, private investigators are invaluable. They can be especially helpful in obtaining witness statements favorable to the plaintiff’s case while memories are fresh. Even if interviews have already been conducted by the police or other officials, a witness statement by the plaintiff’s P.I. can bear fruit. Oftentimes, the witness’s recorded answer is affected by the way the question is asked. If the witness statement is not signed, but merely reflected on a police report, the likelihood of inaccuracies or omissions, increases. In an automobile-pedestrian accident case I handled, the police report portrayed the only eye-witness as implying that my client, struck while in a cross-walk, was at fault for crossing against the “Don’t Walk” light. Once the eyewitness had the opportunity to speak with my investigator and write out her complete statement, she recalled that the driver was “flying” around the corner, while talking on a cell phone and never even tapped his brakes before knocking my client over his hood and partway through his windshield. Without a skilled private investigator, essential details about this cross-walk accident may have never come out. Good private investigators have made and saved many a plaintiff’s case.