Interviews aim to identify potential witnesses and locate them as early in the litigation as possible. Investigators (e.g., attorney lead interviewer or in-house counsel) should realize that aside from their clients, peripheral players might also give critical information that will help them prepare the “right” interview questions geared to the main players.

Furthermore, documents may also help investigators identify potential witnesses and obtain their names and contact information. Nowadays, the proliferation of Internet—specifically the use of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn—could make the process of locating people much easier compared to previous decades.

Some professionals also make locating people whose whereabouts are unknown a living. Skip tracers and private investigators are good examples. While both are useful resources, the latter is believed to be more experienced and thus typically demand higher service fees; hence, their service is generally recommended only for finding critical witnesses.

Advertising in which the witness is requested to contact the investigators could also help, although this is usually treated as a last resort. Typical examples include ad in the newspaper or a poster in a high-traffic location near the accident site.