ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS

Tristar Investigation specializes in accident investigations for personal injury cases. Tristar’s founder Bruce Robertson has been chosen by the Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) to give presentations on personal injury accident investigation to lawyers at their annual conventions in Las Vegas. His writings have also been featured in their professional legal magazine, The Advocate.

Our 30 years of experience in this field gives you the assurance that your accident investigation will be conducted with the highest level of expertise. From start of the investigation to the final investigation report our professionalism will produce the best result for you and your client.

Need to Investigate an Accident?

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Frequently Asked Questions

I need to investigate the scene of an auto traffic accident
If you are representing an injured client in an auto traffic accident case it is important to have a qualified private investigator investigate the scene as early on as possible. Crucial evidence such as skid marks on the pavement or damage to a guard rail can be lost if the scene investigation is delayed.

The investigator’s job in conducting an accident scene investigation is to gather and document the evidence, thoroughly reconstruct the mechanics of how the accident took place and draw conclusions as the liability. In addition the investigator should canvas for witnesses and be on the lookout for any additional liability factors such as malfunctioning traffic signals, highway construction or highway design errors.

Included in this process will be taking good photographs of the scene from all angles, including photos from the point of view of both the plaintiff and the defendant. If there is a police report the investigator should confirm the facts contained in the police report. In higher stakes cases a to-scale scene diagram should be prepared to help the attorney understand exactly what transpired.

I need photographs of a vehicle involved in a personal injury case
If you represent a person involved in an auto related personal injury case it is important to document the damage to all vehicles as soon as possible before they are either junked or repaired. At the time that the client retains a personal injury attorney they should be given a release form to sign which authorizes the attorney or their agents to photograph the vehicle. Tow yards and insurance auto storage facilities require these releases for photos to be taken of the involved vehicles.

Getting photos of the defendant’s vehicle can be challenging but necessary in high impact cases, especially rear end cases. Many rear bumpers can absorb a high degree of impact without too much visible damage, whereas front damage can sometimes be easier to observe and document with the same amount of impact.

When the investigator takes the photos of a damaged vehicle they will be on the lookout for signs of prior damage, documentation of seat belt use or non-use and any evidence that may suggest a defective vehicle or an automobile design flaw which may be a factor to the accident.

I need photographs of the scene of a motorcycle accident
If you represent the injured party or deceased victim of a motorcycle accident the early investigation of the accident scene is crucial to proving your case. An experienced private investigator will inspect the scene and thoroughly photograph the accident scene from all angles. Having the police report is very helpful, but cases where the police report is not yet ready, it is more important to get photographs of the scene as soon as possible.

Physical evidence is the key to proving liability in a motorcycle accident. In a majority of cases there are skid marks leading up to impact and the length of these skid marks can be crucial in determining liability. In addition there are often gouge marks left in the pavement by either the foot pegs or handle bars of the motorcycle. The location and length of these skid marks and gouge marks should be thoroughly documented, not only by photos but also with scene diagrams with exact measurements.

Another reason to send an investigator to photograph the scene of a major motorcycle accident is to document the scene evidence in such a way that the investigator’s report can be used to reconstruct the accident should an accident reconstruction expert be brought in later on in the case. By that time the scene evidence will likely be gone and the reconstruction expert can rely on the investigator’s report to reconstruct the accident.

I need someone to investigate premises liability in a slip and fall accident
If you represent a person injured in a slip and fall accident or other premises liability case, having the premises investigated by a qualified private investigator is important to proving liability. The investigator will photograph the scene of the accident, investigate the causes and canvas for witnesses.

An important factor in proving liability in a slip and fall or other premises liability case is determining what the surface is and how the conditions of the surface contributed to liability. Was there a permanent or temporary obstruction to the normal flow of foot traffic? Was such an obstruction a result of poor maintenance or construction design errors? High quality detailed photographs, with close-up views of the surface are crucial.

In some cases the cause may have been temporary, such as standing water and spilled food or groceries. In these cases it is important to determine how long the cause existed, what the premises owner did to alleviate the hazard and whether the defendant had policies in place to check for and clean up such hazards.

I need to find the defendant in my pedestrian or bicycle hit and run accident
Hit and run cases provide lawyers with the challenge of identifying or finding the perpetrator in the accidents involving bicyclists or pedestrians. Hit and run defendants tend to be more common in these cases because the vehicle driven is not damaged in any significant way which makes it easier for the defendant to just keep on going instead of stopping identifying themselves as is required by law.

In addition alcohol is often involved in these hit and run bicycle or pedestrian traffic accidents since it is widely known that the penalties for DUI (driving under the influence) are much harsher than hit and run. Even if the perpetrator is eventually identified at a later date, it becomes almost impossible to prove the intoxication more than a matter of hours after the accident.

Hiring a private investigator is the most effective way to find hit and run defendants in hit and run bicycle or pedestrians accidents. Witnesses are the best source but often these accidents also occur at night making the identification more difficult. In the absence of known witnesses, tools used to track down these defendants include posting notices seeking a witness, using the media to offer rewards and using social media to create local “buzz” about the case. In addition all sources of surveillance cameras that may have gathered evidence should be explored at the scene of the accident.

I need to find out about prior incidents of dog bites in a personal injury case
Proving liability in a dog bite personal injury case can hinge on proving that the defendant or their landlord were on notice that the dog involved was known to be aggressive and dangerous. Hiring a private investigator is the best way to establish these facts of “prior knowledge” on the part of the defendant.

The first step is for the investigator to visit the scene of the accident and canvass for witnesses. Since people in the proximity have the highest likelihood of these facts, it is important for the investigator to keep detailed notes about who was spoken to and to make sure all nearby neighbors are spoken with. It is also important to go to the scene at the same time of day as when the dog bite attack took place to identify additional witnesses such the mailperson or joggers or children going to or from school.

Documenting the premises is also a key factor, especially if the defendant’s dog was in an area near the street or sidewalk where it barked viciously at people passing by. It is also important to document if the defendant’s dog had ever escaped the back yard and if it ever attacked or bit other dogs. The experienced investigator will check for prior incidents with the local animal control department and also local civil indexes to determine if there have been any prior law suits involving the defendant or landlord.

I need to investigate the cause of a wrongful death personal injury case
Wrongful death cases require the skills of an experienced private investigator since the stakes are high for this type of personal injury case. Typical types of wrongful death cases include auto versus auto traffic accidents, often involving alcohol; auto versus truck auto accidents since the mass of a truck tends to compound injuries and motorcycle traffic accident since motorcyclists have no enclosure to protect them.

The place to start with most wrongful death accidents is usually the police report. Given the gravity of the situation these reports tend to be more thorough and detailed. Police reports identify witnesses and provide statements of what they said based on the skills and memory of the investigating officer. All witnesses in the case need to be independently interviewed and statementized by the private investigator.

A thorough accident scene investigation is crucial to proving liability in a wrongful death case and such an investigation should include detailed photographs and canvassing for additional witnesses. In addition the coroner’s report needs to be reviewed for previously unknown cause of death factors. Finally a professional investigation report needs to be prepared to document the investigator’s findings.

What people are saying

Thank you for providing me with such outstanding service. I truly appreciate you and your staff for all you’ve done for me and my family…. I’m totally pleased with the outcome and their findings… Great job!

Gerome S. | Retired | USA

I have used Tristar for years. Their response time and results are unparalleled. They get my highest praise.

Robert Clayton, Attorney | Taylor & Ring, LLP | Los Angeles, CA

Tristar found my birth mothers records the same day. I am very impressed with their professionalism and the services they provide. I will use them again for any of my needs.

Dr. Claudia Barne | Professor | 23 years

Tristar was very helpful in my address search. Kellie Anguiano was very personable and kept me up to date with the search process… Thank you so much for your help!

Emily | DDS Student | 2 years | Los Angeles, CA

Tristar is by far the most reliable and efficient investigator we have ever used.

Nicole Young | Attorney, 14 years | Woodland Hills, CA

Tristar in the news

Tristar Investigation has been featured in a dozens of publications, everything from print to TV and radio. Bellow you will find Burce Robertson interviewed and discussed on famous publications such as the History Channel, New York Times, CNN and a lot more.

News Coverage Highlights

Bruce Robertson is the founder of Tristar Investigation, a private detective agency in Los Angeles, CA. Tristar has a 28-year track record of delivering quality investigative results. Headquartered in West Los Angeles, Tristar has branch offices in San Francisco.

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Real Life Private Eye

In November of 1999 Bruce Robertson, founder of Tristar Investigation, was featured on CNN Worldwide show Showbiz Today with Gloria Hillard. The report was about an ABC television show called “Snoops”, which was a glitzy send-up of life at a detective

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