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Quite a few people fear the private investigators and try to dodge our calls. They think we are representatives of an insurance company and if we are fortunate enough to be able to connect with them, they may tell us one of the following:
In vain, we try explaining who we are (private investigators either hired by the defendant or plaintiff or working with the law firm that the defendant or plaintiff has chosen). We must take our own statement. It is not admissible for us to use a statement taken by someone else at a different time. We will need the statement signed in order to prevent them (the witnesses) from being subpoenaed or deposed at a later date.
The most efficient use of their time is to give us the statement (10 to 15 minutes), sign it, and get back to living their daily lives.
In the area of COVID and especially with variants (Delta, Lambda) popping up, our situation is made even more difficult. It is helpful to have a police report to refer to but police often don’t take a formal report, particularly in a case where no serious injuries present at the time of the accident. If an ambulance isn’t called, chances that there will be a police report go way down.
In the event that we do find a cooperative witness, and a statement is taken and ready for signing, the private investigator should make every attempt possible to put the witness at ease.
At Krofina Investigations, when out in the field to get a statement signed, we try to: