Good lawyers win cases with available evidence. Great lawyers look for their own.

How? By acquiring the expertise of a civil private investigator.

While attorneys wield the law like gun-toting sharpshooters inside the courtroom, they’d be shooting blanks without sufficient, compelling evidence that only a civil private investigator can bring to the table.

But what exactly do they do? Here are 5 ways that civil investigation services help attorneys win legal battles:

1. Uncover New Leads And Evidence

Having the unique perspective of a trained, experienced professional on the team is invaluable in many respects.

One major advantage of getting a civil private investigator to assist a case is that they’re able to lend a fresh set of eyes and obtain even more information or evidence that will support a lawyer’s argument and help them to win a trial. A P.I. will be able to spot details in a case that a lawyer may not have the facilities to detect.

In any trial, reviewing of files is of utmost consequence. Who knows what could be buried under the mountain of information in insurance contracts, email correspondences, or even phone records? The P. I. could discover clues hidden in the fine print  A P. I. is also trained to look through police evidence, which is helpful in case the authorities might have overlooked an important piece of evidence that could make or break in the case.

2. Track Down Assets

Everyone knows that assets heavily influence the winning of cases. Attorneys know that when it comes to civil cases, assets are detrimental. Understandably so, because rulings are not worth anything if there’s no money or assets to declare.

And while for an average person, they may be difficult to find, investigators are specialized in locating assets for civil cases such as divorce. These may include undeclared wealth, real estate, aircraft, motor vehicles, artwork, antiques, priceless collectibles, etc. Even better: civil private investigators can also dig up the existence of hidden bank accounts, whether domestic or offshore.

Typically, whenever someone launches legal action, their assets mysteriously disappear into thin air. So it’s a private investigator’s job to follow the clues and go on an Easter egg hunt.

3. Obtain Video Evidence

woman using camera - private investigator

What better way to convince the jury that a crime has been committed than by showing them footage of the crime actually being committed?

One of the things that movies have gotten right about private investigators is that they spend a lot of time doing surveillance, and for good reason. In a legal case, a video recording is extremely compelling evidence.

But you might be wondering about the purpose of employing professional civil investigation services for video surveillance when anyone can do that using their iPhones. It takes skill and copious amounts of patience to be able to execute this job successfully. First of all, gathering video proof takes days or weeks, even months of following around the subject unnoticed. Secondly, a private investigator uses an armory of equipment for sleuthing: GPS trackers, military-grade binoculars, device cloners, covert cameras, digital scanners, audio recording equipment, and much more. They even employ undercover operatives when necessary.

Video footage is especially beneficial in legal cases involving insurance fraud, adulterous spouses, child custody battles, workers’ compensation, and theft.

4. Find and Analyze Electronic Evidence

Living in the digital age, there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t send a text, answer a call, watch a YouTube video, or read an article online. Unbeknownst to most of us, everything we do on the Internet leaves behind a digital footprint that may be tracked and analyzed.

With technology touching almost every aspect of our lives, carefully scrutinizing electronic files and correspondences has become a large part of the private investigator’s job. Thankfully, private investigators are skilled in that regard. And whenever a case requires that emails, texts, documents, or other files be analyzed, attorneys typically seek civil investigation services.

Using sophisticated (and legal!) software, a good civil private investigator can even retrieve already-deleted files and data.

Yes, even those topless Tom Selleck photos, Gretchen.

A private investigator can also collect valuable data from an individual’s browsing history, downloads, credit card transactions, online conversations, and call logs. Sure, a call made at 2:04 am to an unknown number in Montauk may seem insignificant at first, but when supported by an online purchase delivered to the same address, the attorney may be able to help their client build a stronger case.

5. Social Media Investigations

Almost everyone and their mother is on social media these days. People’s public information, and sometimes even sensitive data, can be accessed with a few deft clicks of the mouse. And since the Internet naturally provides a wealth of information on individuals, social media investigations have become an increasingly constant element in investigative efforts. Police authorities often use social media to track the whereabouts of suspects, gather evidence, check for illegal behavior, or determine the truth or falsehood of an alibi.

The most common websites that private investigators frequent when conducting social media investigations are the following:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • LinkedIn

One noteworthy example of a manhunt aided by social media is the story of Viktoria Nasyrova, a 41-year-old Russian fugitive wanted for murder in her homeland. After escaping Russia in 2014, she found refuge in Brooklyn, New York, living the high life as an upscale masseuse. But little did she know that her penchant for showing off her fancy life on Facebook was going to be her downfall. A sly private investigator found a photo of Nasyrova on her social media account and was able to identify the make and model of the car she owned through the stitching of the car’s seat. With the help of a surveillance team, the private investigator found the exact car in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood where Nasyrova was reported to be residing. This led to her subsequent arrest and imprisonment.

But why are social media investigations so powerful? One, around 77% of the adult population in the US alone maintains an account on some form of social media, and roughly two-thirds of US adults (68%) are now on Facebook. Two, the complex algorithms and rules of social media websites like Facebook and Instagram make it difficult for users to understand the consequences of posting about their lives on a public forum.

Why Hire A Private Investigator?

 due diligence - private investigator

Because of their specialized, professional perspective and analytical skills, the contribution of a private investigator in legal cases is immeasurable. With their assistance, attorneys are able to get to the meat of a case faster and more efficiently, and leverage the information they provide to sway the decision of the court in their favor.


If you’re on the hunt for a Pittsburgh civil private investigator, give us a call today at our toll-free hotline (1-877-874-9394) for your complimentary consultation.