Depending on the case in question, thousands of dollars on investigative and legal fees may be spent by an individual. Not everyone has that kind of money! Frequently, a private investigator will be asked whether not they can work on the basis of a contingency fee. It is, when interviewing new case clients, one of the most common questions posed.
So, can a PI, for some type of reward, conduct an investigation or, working on a contingency basis, manage an investigation? The question is not out of line, in the least. After all, under a contingency fee arrangement, many lawyers take cases.
Generally speaking, on a contingency fee basis, most private investigators will not work a case. Why is this?
Why Can’t PIs Work Under a Contingency Fee Arrangement?
In no uncertain terms, in some states, private investigators simply are not allowed to work with any kind of contingency fee arrangement in place. It’s against the law for them to accept an award for services or agree to a contingency fee arrangement.
Additionally, for the avoidance of private investigators hiring on contingency, there are some ethical and moral reasons, aside from the legal implications.
Here are some reasons why a private investigator should not be hired on a contingency basis.
Court Cases and Admissible Evidence
The court may determine inadmissibility of evidence/testimony if the involvement of questionable fees arises. Judges frown on – on the basis of case outcome – “expert witnesses” giving testimony. As an example, if only through their favorable testimony for a plaintiff, a “witness” or PI is paid, a judge can throw the case out of court. Clearly, your case could all be for naught if your investigator is testifying on your behalf and a contingency fee was arranged with them.
The evidence will be of no value to your case if obtained unethically or under false pretense. The hiring of a PI on a contingency basis comes into play here.
An unethical private investigator may, in order to get paid, illegally obtain or falsify evidence. In fact, you could legally be at risk as a client of such a private investigator.
An Investigator’s Reputation Could Be Corrupted
Why are most people in business? Answer: To make money. Private investigators are no exception. But if, in an attempt to earn a paycheck, ethical lines are crossed by presenting results that were obtained or fabricated in pursuit of payment, an investigator’s reputation could be irreparably damaged/corrupted.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Uncovering evidence and facts is the job of a private investigator. What should the sole motivation for an investigator be? Answer: The unbiased discovery of evidence and facts.
That said, evidence “found”, if an unethical investigator is getting paid to find it, could be false. Additionally, “forgotten” facts may be neglected and/or go unmentioned. The motivation for finding evidence and facts runs completely counter to a contingency scenario.
Where to Locate a Private Investigator: Probity Investigations
For any number of reasons, people want or need certain situations investigated. You can depend on the trusted and dependable team of specialists at Probity Investigations. Our ethical reputation is impeccable!
To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.