Private Investigator InfoGraphic

oklahoma personal injury lawyer

Private detectives are a timeless staple of crime thrillers and noir films. Everyone knows the routine: the femme fatale saunters into a smoky office on a rainy night, asking Humphrey Bogart if he can track down her cheating spouse who went missing last week. It’s an entertaining depiction, but needless to say, real-life detective work is quite different. We’ve created this infographic in a bid to enlighten people about what it is private investigators and detectives really do on a day-to-day basis – and how they can help plaintiffs in an Oklahoma car accident lawsuit succeed.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports on Private Investigators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2012 the median pay for a private investigator in the United States was $45,740 per year or about $22 per hour. The required entry-level education that most people need to enter the profession is a high school diploma. On average, most private detectives have less than five years of experience in related fields, so the occupation calls for a moderate level of on-the-job training.

Being a detective is a fairly uncommon occupation. As of 2012, there were only about 30,000 private investigators and detectives in the United States, meaning they represent a tiny 0.009% of the U.S. population. (To put those numbers into greater perspective, the BLS charted about 690,000 doctors and surgeons, more than 950,000 high school teachers, and well over a million accountants and auditors.) However, while private investigators may be few and far between, the occupation is keeping up with the average job outlook, which is projected to be around 11% from 2012 to 2022.

25 Things a Private Detective Does on the Job

As you might imagine, such a broad scope of work entails lots of different duties, skills, and abilities. Here’s a quick breakdown of 25 different tasks private investigators handle:

  1. Find a current or historical address
  2. Find a date of birth
  3. Confirm a social security number (SSN)
  4. Locate death records
  5. Locate marriage records
  6. Locate divorce filings
  7. Dig through someone’s trash
    • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police officers and investigators can search and seize property which has been abandoned.  While laws defining abandoned property vary from state to state, garbage is generally considered abandoned, and therefore legal to search.
  8. Identify mortgage information
  9. Determine the current market value of a property
  10. Retrieve and analyze bankruptcy records
    • Bankruptcy records are public.  If you ever need to track down bankruptcy records yourself, you can find information about a bankruptcy case by using Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER, an online tool provided by the federal judiciary.
  11. Uncover affairs and improper relationships
  12. Retrieve mugshots from arrest records
  13. Provide peace of mind
  14. Locate home phone and cell phone numbers
  15. Identify the owner of a home
  16. Research familial history
  17. Connect the dots
  18. Locate and interview witnesses for a criminal or civil lawsuit
    • Eye-witness testimony can be invaluable evidence in a criminal trial, personal injury case, or insurance claim.  This is especially true of car, motorcycle, and truck accidents, where it’s often one driver’s word against the other.  If you ever get into a crash or collision in Oklahoma City, a credible third-party witness can help fortify your claim.
  19. Obtain driving record history
  20. Overseas litigation research
  21. Locate historical video footage or news footage
  22. Conduct mobile or stationary surveillance
    • In Oklahoma, it is legal to intercept an oral or electronic communication (e.g. phone calls) as long as at least one person in the conversation has given his or her consent in advance.  This is known as “one-party consent.”  (A few states have all-party consent laws, which require all parties to the conversation to give their consent.)
  23. Research presence on social media networks or message boards
  24. Catch people who try to steal merchandise or destroy store property
  25. Investigate drug use

If you were injured on someone else’s property or were hurt in an automotive accident, the personal injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook can help you explore your legal options for getting compensated. We work closely with private investigators in many of the cases we handle, and have obtained favorable outcomes for numerous clients. With over 75 years of combined experience, we are amply prepared to handle a wide variety of claims. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation, call our law offices at (405) 698-3040 today.