Interviews, documents and evidence examinations are common source of information that legal professionals can use. Surveillance is also a source of information that professionals can use. Often, key information can be obtained when professionals monitor activities of subjects. Photos and vide evidences can be quite significant and they can be used effectively in the courtroom. If a picture can tell you a thousand words, a clear video could speak volumes. Just suspicion, tip and hunch are not enough. You need to see it directly, the record the activity in photos and videos. Here are things you should do to perform surveillance properly:
- Get early information about the subject: If you want to do surveillance tasks better, you should know more about subjects. Basic information includes name, phone number, home address, work address, work schedule, interests, marital status and physical conditions. This way, investigators don’t have to spend extra time and effort to discover information that’s already available. It’s a good idea to spend a day or two before the actual surveillance for understanding the subject better. There’s often limited time for surveillance, so you need to use the opportunity as best as you can.
- Understand the objective: By understanding the objective, you will know what you need to know. This way, you will know what activity and detail that you should observe. As an example, if the subject recently files a liability claim due to workplace injuries, investigators can check whether the subject uses a cane all the time. It means, the investigator can check when the subject seems to walk more frequently.
- Keep yourself updated on trial dates, hearing and appointments: Investigators should keep themselves updated about the next schedule for trial, hearings and appointments. There are deadlines that they need to meet and evidences, if any, should be submitted as soon as possible.
- Deliver latest developments: Lawyers, clients and others may want to get an update via email, phone call or instant messaging. People are often eager to know about what you have obtained during the surveillance process. Any information that you get could mean a lot during the decision making process. Communication is key, if you want to maximize the effect of your surveillance efforts.
- Improve your competence: To become a good investigator, you need to prepare all the documents, such as liability insurance and PI license. You should understand the law related to surveillance activity and always follow every letter of it. You should also start building up a list of references. If a client is satisfied with what you do, he/she can become your new referral. It’s a good idea to have direct training in surveillance. You may have served thousands of hours in the courtroom and studying court documents, but surveillance is a different matter. There are skills, tools and external variables that affect how effective your surveillance works are. While obtaining results, you need to make sure that you follow regulations, industry standards and law. In fact, people can be sued when they do illegal surveillance methods, such as putting tiny microphones in someone’s property.