The Legal Investigator Summer 2011 - Vol.36, Issue 2 : Page 3

Investigators should strive to supply the civil attorney with the best information possible so the attorney may make the best decision whether or not to accept the case and/or provide the vital information to build the case. Good interview notes will be invaluable when preparing the investigative report for the attorney. Audio or videotaping of the interview might be considered but the legality and advisability of such action should be researched in advance and done in accordance with the law. Make sure all consent issues are covered. The investigator should include witness statements as well as any audio, photographic or video evidence that has been obtained. A description of physical evidence is also helpful. It is important to ascertain whether or not the report you generate will be discoverable and choose your words accordingly. Some jury instructions will request jurors not to take mental anguish, grief or sorrow into consideration in awarding damages, but include as much of this information as possible in your report, as more information is better than not enough. A thorough interview also ensures that there will be no “surprises” down the road. It is suggested to include dates and times which may be important down the road. These dates will help to establish the statute of limitations, establish a date of loss, dates of hospitalizations, rates of recovery and surgeries. Dates also help document when the client was unable to earn income and if he or she attempted to return to work. Your attorney-client may find a chronology quite useful. Not all questions will be applicable for every case. The individual circumstances of each case will dictate other more specific inquiries. What follows is a list, which is by no means complete, of topics an investigator may wish to ask in attempting to establish an estimation of damages. summer 2011 Platinum Patron Kelly Riddle San Antonio, TX Member since 2009 Gold Patrons NALI thanks the following patrons for their Gold Level sponsorship: • Burt Hodge, State Information Bureau, Inc. Call today for a FREE Insurance Evaluation!! (800) 683-1226 Background, Private Investigators, Security Guards, Private Patrol, Training, Title Abstractors, Computer Forensics, Security Consulting and more... General Liability Professional Liability / Errors & Omissions Hired / NonOwned Auto Workers Compensation Commercial Auto Property Coverage / Bonds Employment Practice Liability and more... Are you really covered? GL and E&O Limits: from as low as $250,000 to $5,000,000 Premiums: from as low as $521 -ARMED Admitted coverage in MOST states! Individual Policies, NO MASTER POLICY!!!! (Don't let other firms claims affect your rate!) Yergey Insurance Agency, Inc. 7420 Heritage Village Plaza Gainesville, VA 20155 5

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