Private investigators provide an array of services that can be very helpful to you when facing a legal problem. Oftentimes, an attorney will solicit the services of a private investigator to help you with a wide variety of legal issues.

Private investigators work independently from attorneys to collect information. Although the two professionals work in different capacities, both are working for the benefit of their mutual client. The private investigator provides the attorney with evidence that can then be used to build the case.

The following are several scenarios in which a private investigator may be helpful:

Criminal defense cases - In a criminal defense case, a private investigator may be able to collect evidence that supports the client's innocence or suggests the guilt of someone other than the client.

Corporate crimes - Private investigators can collect evidence that proves patent or trademark infringement, fraud, computer crimes, theft, and other crimes in the business sector.

Insurance defense - When representing an insurance company, a private investigator's goal may be to prove that an individual is falsifying or exaggerating his or her injuries.

Analysis of evidence - In any court case, private investigators may be enlisted to analyze evidence presented by the other side. The private investigator uses a combination of methods for gathering evidence. These may include: research, interviews, surveillance, and/or analytical skills to provide the attorney with resources to represent the client more effectively.

Locating someone - You may find it necessary to discover where a person lives for various reasons. One of which may be when trying to serve an individual in order to begin a legal action. You may not be able to determine on your own where the party that needs to be served lives. Proficient private investigators are good at locating individuals that are elusive--even homeless people or people in hiding.

Some private investigators also possess special skills, or backgrounds, relating to specific types of cases or issues, including: auto accidents, wrongful death, and homicide. For example, a private investigator who specializes in auto accidents may be able to recreate the scene of the accident in order to discredit the statements of a witness, claimant, or defendant, depending on the needs of the client.

If you are involved in a legal dispute or criminal case, hiring a private investigator can greatly increase your chances of success in court. If your attorney has suggested collaboration with a private investigator, or if you think hiring a private investigator would be beneficial, you should consult with an experienced private investigator.

Early in the case, the evidence and information collected by the private investigator may provide your attorney with enough evidence to convince the other side to settle out of court, drop the charges against you, or withdraw a claim, depending on the type of case. If the case does go to court, having a skilled investigator on your team will arm your attorney with the tools needed to represent you effectively and convince the judge and/or jury to decide in your favor.