Personal injury claims are commonplace, with tens of millions of personal injuries occurring in the U.S. each year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of damages claims and billions of dollars in payouts.
Prevailing in a personal injury case requires proof – and that means court-admissible evidence. Finding that evidence is a job for professionals like the experienced private investigators in Trustify’s network.
What is a Personal Injury Investigation?
A personal injury investigation seeks to identify and collect evidence concerning the physical injuries (as opposed to injuries to reputation or property) suffered by one or more persons stemming from a negligent or intentional act. Common types of personal injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle
- Premises liability (like slip-and-falls)
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Workers compensation
- Intentional torts (assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment, etc.)
- Dog bites
A personal injury investigation is most commonly sought in support of civil litigation, but may be conducted in conjunction with other related proceedings, such as a workers’ compensation claim or criminal investigation. In a personal injury civil case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, meaning that it’s the party making the claim of personal injury who must prove, with sufficient evidence, that:
- An injury occurred.
- The defendant was at fault.
- The injury resulted in compensable damages.
Who is a Personal Injury Investigation For?
The two most common types of private investigator clients in personal injury investigation cases are:
- Accident Victims: In these cases, the private investigator is typically hired by an attorney representing the victim, although the victim themselves may initiate the investigation directly. When the client is the victim, the goal of the personal injury investigation is to collect any and all admissible evidence that supports the victim’s claims regarding liability and damages.
- Insurance Companies: The goal of a personal injury investigation conducted for an insurer is to gather evidence of fraud or misrepresentation by the accident victim in regard to the existence and extent the claimed injuries, or to gather evidence.
In a small number of cases, the client in a personal injury investigation is someone against whom a claim of liability has been made. In such cases, the investigation is conducted to provide proof that absolves the client of liability.
Starting a Personal Injury Investigation
Starting an investigation with Trustify is fast and simple. There are four steps to a Trustify personal injury investigation:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide a cost estimate for your case.
2. Consult With a Private Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case. You should be prepared to answer questions like:
- What is your interest in the personal injury claim? Are you the injury victim, insurer, attorney representing a party in the lawsuit, etc.?
- What are the circumstances around the incident that gave rise to the personal injury claim (motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall accident, workplace injury, battery, etc.)?
- What is the nature and extent of the claimed physical injuries?
- Was a police report filed in connection with the personal injury incident? Has there been a criminal investigation or have criminal charges been brought? Has a civil lawsuit been filed?
3. Investigation in Progress: Following your initial consultation, and upon your approval, your investigator will begin the investigation. The methods and techniques employed by your investigator will vary depending on the circumstances and goals of your case, but generally will include:
- A review of all existing evidence, including all related incident reports and records, insurance documents, medical reports, interview statements, court records, photographs, videos, and physical evidence etc.
- Visits to the location where the physical injury occurred to gather evidence, take photographs, etc.
- Interviews with witnesses to the incident.
Your investigator may recommend additional actions be taken to support your case, such as physical surveillance, accident reconstruction, and/or medical or chiropractic examinations etc.
4. Case Updates and Final Report: You will be kept informed of all important developments during the course of your investigation, and provided with a final written report summarizing all findings at the investigation’s conclusion. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify in court if necessary and agreed upon at the beginning of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Investigators will adhere to the law and all professional ethical standards during all stages of the investigation. Investigators will not attempt to access any legally restricted records or data or trespass onto private property without permission.