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Hiring A Private Investigator: What To Know

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When you suspect a relative or partner of holding back information from you, it's natural that you'll do everything in your power to find out what the truth is — especially if you think it's something serious. You might even go so far as to contact private investigators about following them or getting information about their activities. However, because you're emotionally connected to the so-called target, you may be too hasty during the hiring process. What should you discover about private investigators before hiring someone or a firm?

Ask About Their License

Many people don't realize that every state has their own rules about what a person needs to designate themselves as a private investigator. Any person calling themselves a private investigator should be asked for their license number before you agree to hire them. Try to see a copy of the actual license, and check for expiration dates. You might also contact the licensing board directly to ask if any formal complaints have been made.

Ask for Examples

While much of the work private investigators do is of a sensitive nature, you need to get an idea of the deliverables that will be available to you when your investigation is complete. Will you receive digital copies of any video footage? Will you receive a written report? Ask investigators for some proof of the work they have completed. They may be able to present you with closed case files or files that past clients have agreed to share. They might have sample reports worked up to show prospective clients as well.

Discuss Methods

If you've only seen investigation work on crime TV shows, you may expect something different than what an actual private investigator can do to get the details they need. Talk about the methods that will be used to glean important information. Discuss the ways the investigator will get the answers you want. Be sure you're comfortable with what's discussed.

Ask About Insurance

Stay mindful of insurance issues. If the investigator or their company is not properly insured, you could be responsible for costs and situations that arise as part of your investigation. Before hiring any investigator, inquire about insurance they carry.

Prepare Yourself

Even if you think you're ready for the outcome of an investigation, the news an investigator can reveal could be shocking. While it's hard to prepare for every single revelation that could come your way, be sure you have a support system and a plan if you learn something you weren't expecting.

Know that you know what questions to ask, contact companies like Star Quality Private Investigations to see if they are the right company to help you.