“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Depending on the type of case your attorney is handling for you, there can be a number of reasons why they might hire a PI to assist with your case. Attorneys hire PIs for help with all different types of cases from divorce and child custody cases to criminal cases to corporate interest cases. The type of assistance provided by a PI can vary in each different type of case, however there are a few general types of tasks that come up frequently that an attorney might hire a PI for.

1. Background Checks – PIs are experts at doing thorough background checks so it makes sense that an attorney would turn to a PI to run background checks on all of the witnesses, opposing party and their client. Why run a background check on the client? This way the attorney knows everything opposing council could dig up on their client and can be prepared to address any issues before the opposition has a chance to bring them up.

2. Locate People/Witnesses – Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for witnesses to decide they don’t want to participate in a court case and attempt to avoid a subpoena. A PI can help locate people and/or witnesses that are important to your case and make sure they are served the appropriate paperwork to appear in court. A PI can also question potential witnesses and often get better cooperation than law enforcement officers. This testimony could be key to your case.

3. Provide Surveillance – PIs are pros at surveillance. There are different types of surveillance a PI might provide for a lawyer or law firm, such as digital surveillance, tracing missing people, mining through data and manned surveillance (literally following someone or monitoring their actions for a period of time). Surveillance can help provide essential evidence for your case.

4. Gather Evidence – PIs can help gather evidence in a number of ways. PIs can gather digital evidence, evidence to help reconstruct timelines, conduct witness interviews, find character witnesses, uncover legal and court documents and uncover any undisclosed or hidden assets.

5. Serve as a Witness – A PI can also serve as an independent 3rd party witness on the stand in court, depending on the type of court case and matter being decided. A PI serves to uncover the truth, no matter what that truth is and present it to the attorney and later, the courts.

There are a number of reasons why an attorney might hire a PI to assist in your case. A PI’s expertise in background investigations, surveillance, locating people and gathering evidence can provide a lot of information and evidence and make them a valuable asset.