5 Tips to Help Choose the Right Private Investigations Firm
Not all investigators are the same, and neither are the companies who employ them. While there are many wonderfully talented investigators out there, how can you be sure you choose the right one for your case? Below you will find some valuable tips on how to make sure you get a good investigator to help with your particular situation and ensure you hire a great investigative firm:
Once you have decided that you need the services of an investigations firm, consider how you came to this conclusion. Was it at the suggestion of an attorney? If so, ask for a recommendation from them. Typically law firms work closely with Investigative firms to provide solid investigations for the clients they represent. If you not ready to hire an attorney, but still need an investigator, ask your colleagues who may have experienced the same issue you are having. They may be able to give you the name of a great company to conduct your investigation to increase the success of your case. After all, the law firm wants a win as much as you do.
Sometimes there are situations where attorneys are not involved. You simply need an investigator to provide you with confirmation of facts, or to discover (or uncover) some suspicion in order to have leverage. For example, if you suspect an employee is drinking on the job or stealing merchandise, you may want to get solid evidence of this prior to confronting or taking disciplinary action against the employee. In this situation, you may not be filing a law suit or getting any attorneys involved at all.
Fail to take even one of these steps and you open the door to losses and significant risk.
If you use Google or an app to find an investigative firm, be sure they are licensed and ask for references. Most reputable companies will gladly give a reference to past clients for whom they have worked.
Check out the company on the state’s licensing bureau website. Many states have an online search tool (for Texas it can be found here). Many will give the current status of the company license as well as a list of investigators employed by them. This is a good way to be sure they are using only licensed investigators. Any good investigative firm will be fully compliant with all state and federal laws and licensing. Ask if all employees and contractors they use are licensed PI’s in the state where the work will be conducted.
Most states require that a company have insurance. Check with your state to see if it is required. If not, find out if the company has it.
Find out which professional associations, if any, the company is a member of. Many will post these on their website. Contact the association yourself and inquire as to whether the company is a member and if they are in good standing. Think about the job you are hiring them for.
Ask for a consultation to feel out the company. A good company will hear the facts of the case, confirm what your objectives are, discuss the things they are able to do to help, and give you a clear idea of the costs involved to conduct the case.
Ask if there will be a written agreement with the scope of work clearly spelled out. This will protect both parties and keep the work flowing smoothly. Both sides will have a clear understanding of what will and will not be done under the agreement. There should be an official contract agreement, not simply an email saying they will do what they say.
These may sound like obvious things to check when vetting an investigative company, but you would be wise to take the extra time needed to do them. Think about the reasons you are hiring the company in the first place. If you find out that the company is not on the up and up with the little things, do you honestly think they will conduct a legal, ethical, and proper investigation that will hold up in court should it end up there?
For more information on hiring a private investigation firm, contact Framework Investigations, LLC for a consultation!