In the accompanying article, I explained the difference between investigators and process servers and highlighted the important contributions both make to the attorney-clients they serve. Here is a case study describing an effective litigation effort, corroborating the services of a private investigator and a process server.
An attorney attempted to obtain service on defendants in a crash case. A young man from the Northeast was involved in a serious crash in Florida while driving a SUV registered to an elderly man in the Midwest. The process server there had been unable to locate the elderly owner of the vehicle. The resident of the address where the vehicle was registered claimed that the owner was suffering from Alzheimer’s and was living at an unknown location. CLI was called in to locate the elderly defendant.
We were able to uncover a more recent address for the vehicle registration than the address on the crash report. We then contacted an experienced investigator who worked in that region. He traveled to the developed address and made contact with a relative of the elderly driver. She explained that the mandid, in fact, suffer from dementia and had lived with her for several months.
She went on to explain that the man’s daughter, who lived in South Florida, took custody of her father. She also took his SUV to Florida with him. His dementia progressed and he soon was incapable of driving. The daughter took the vehicle and the keys and asked a friend to keep the vehicle for her to prevent her father from driving.
This friend maintained the father’s vehicle for some time. Late one night, her son, who had recently moved down from the Northeast, took the vehicle for a “joy ride” and was involved in the crash that seriously injured the client.
The relative provided our associate with the owner’s current address in another part of the state. With this information, the attorney was able to coordinate with the process server to effect service on the defendant owner.
As for the young driver from the Northeast, the server attempted service on him at two addresses. At the second address, an unidentified woman claimed he had moved back up north. The server noted two vehicles at this location and obtained the license plate numbers.
With these tag numbers, we identified the “unidentified” woman as the defendant driver’s mother. This turned out to be the “friend” to whom the elderly owner’s daughter gave the SUV
The investigation is ongoing, but this highlights the positive outcome that can be achieved when investigators and process servers work together. In both situations, the process server developed enough information at the scene for the investigator to develop additional leads.
As pointed out in the accompanying article, “Investigators and Process Servers: What’s the Difference?”, both professionals play important roles in the litigation process. Knowing when to bring in a licensed investigator and when to rely on a process server can mean the difference between success or failure.
When you need a quality investigation conducted, call Complete Legal Investigations at 561-687-8381.