Service Fees

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If you are thinking of using the services of a private investigator, you may be wondering what service fees are associated with hiring a private investigator. In the state of Washington, private investigator fees vary by location and type of services. For private investigators with extensive experience and training, expect to pay higher fees.

Let’s start by introducing you to the difference between Standard service fees and flat rate fees:

A service fee is a prepaid monetary value deposited with the investigation agency providing services to a client under contract. The contract may include information regarding the service fee and terms, typically called a service fee agreement. Service fees are either refundable or non-refundable deposits.

Washington State Investigators requires a service fee payment to be applied against all requested investigative services. Service fee deposits are dependent on the type of investigation, hourly charges i.e. surveillance, flat rate products i.e. comprehensive report, mileage when working in the field, witness interviews, and database research, etc. For example, data research may require a flat rate service fee deposit between $285-$1500, while infidelity, child custody and workers compensation cases may require a service fee deposit between $1,500-$5,000. Civil litigation, personal injury, criminal defense work typically require an average retainer fee between $3,000-$10,000. Complex investigations can average between $5,000-10,000 and up. The following factors help us to determine the service fee amount:

  • Type of investigation
  • Background research, i.e. court documents, transcripts, police reports, civil and criminal history
  • Witness Interviews
  • Skip Trace (Locating witnesses)
  • Estimated hours for surveillance
  • Urgency
  • Location
  • Travel involved
  • Airline and hotel costs
  • Estimated mileage

Flat rate fees typically have preset monetary values for services such as background checks, person locates, hidden asset searches, employment searches, criminal records search, database/Internet/social media research and photo or video documentation. The price range for these services may range from $285-$1500 or higher depending on depth of service requested by the client.

Hourly rates vary based on where a client is located, the difficulty of the investigation, and whether the client’s case will require a second private investigator. Having our primary office located in South Seattle, Washington, puts us in the central urban hub for the greater Puget Sound area and Washington State. The hourly rate for private investigators can vary between $60-$200 per hour, but averages fall between $70-$150 per hour. Keep in mind that there are additional fees attached to service fee deposits. A common addition is mileage and the average cost is $0.75 per mile. If the investigation requires additional hours, we contact our clients for authorization. The client can make the additional service fee payment as needed to continue with the investigation.

The hourly rate will increase for each additional investigator working a case if two investigators are required to complete your case effectively. For example, if your private investigator needs a second investigator when conducting surveillance or tracking a vehicle. We request client authorization prior to enlisting additional investigators as part of our client communication policy and as stated in our service fee agreement.

Specific results and favorable outcomes cannot be guaranteed as we cannot make a person do something at the exact moment we’re on surveillance, nor can we show a person having a civil/criminal history if not on record within our proprietary databases, city/county or state court records, etc. We are committed to conducting an ethical, honest and prudent investigation and will use our expertise to provide you with the best services possible.

When you hire Washington State Investigators, you’ve made an important decision. We have the experience and knowledge, technology and resources to plan, and execute an investigation to meet your specific situation. Hiring Washington State Investigators means hiring a partner who works with you in tandem. We communicate on a regular basis, providing you with new information and status updates about your case. As our client, you will feel confident about your decision. Our mission is to provide our clients with a great customer experience, specialized services and solutions that deliver results.

Confidentiality, Integrity, and Professionalism
Washington State Investigators