Category Archives: Great Websites

Helpful Links for Iowa/Illinois Trial Lawyers

Bookmark this page.

Do it now. I’ll wait.

Thanks. There are several websites that I consult on a regular basis, and unfortunately, no one seems to have them all in one place. Here are some of my most-used websites. Some more may be added in the future, so check back. Also, any suggestions would be welcomed!

Background Checks/Case Status Checks

Why? So you can check to see if cases have been filed, check the status of traffic tickets and other criminal matters, and other fun stuff that can be accessed through a court records search.


Illinois (many counties):

Rock Island County:

Corporation Searches

Why? So you can sue the right entities!



State Patrol Crash Reports

Why? So you can find out what happened – as long as Iowa State Patrol is involved. Iowa Crash reports only stay available online for 15 days.



Why? So you can find out if a defendant owns any real estate, and find the correct owner of a piece of property. This can be really helpful for premises liability cases. In many counties in Iowa, you can search by name.


Rock Island County Illinois:

Liquor License Search

Why? So you can sue the right entity in a dram shop case, among other benefits.



Physician Finder

Why? So when your client can only remember some vague information about what doctors they went to, you can hopefully track down the right one. Limited to the Quad Cities only, just for ease of linkage.



View/Map the Scene of a Crash

Why? We all have to know the lay of the land – literally. You can get a satellite photo of an intersection, along with birds-eye views of certain areas from different angles. Years ago some attorneys would hire helicopters to fly above an intersection so they could take photos to show the jury. Those days are gone, my friends. Oh, and Google? Not nearly as good as Bing when it comes to maps.

Vehicle Appraisal

Why? So you can estimate what your client’s wrecked car is worth. Negotiate wisely.

Kelly Blue Book:

NADA guides:

Anything I’ve missed?

(Howard Zimmerle is a trial lawyer practicing in Iowa and Illinois. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or at hzimmerle [at]

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Filed under Great Websites, Links, Trial Practice

New website for self-help in Rock Island County

Illinois legal aid has just started a website for people in Rock Island County who may have minor legal problems and don’t need or can’t afford a lawyer. The website at provides some simple advice and forms for things like divorce, child support, small claims cases, landlord/tenant issues, etc. It’s no substitute for a good lawyer, but it might help some people.

I have some concerns with the website. Some of the answers are too brief – for example, there is a section about statutes of limtations, but nothing mentioning that some cases have 1 year statutes, no discussion of the discovery rule, etc. It’s impossible to get a perfect understanding of how statutes of limitations work in one paragraph, but I guess that’s my point. It’s dangerous to give broad advice in a few words. Most of the advice seems pretty good.

Young lawyers should also read some of this. Often the nuts and bolts of everyday practice aren’t taught in law school, and this could provide a good overview for certain “how do I do this” type questions.

For those non-lawyers out there, you’re often better off with a lawyer – but not always. There might be lawyers who will handle your smaller matters, and what you think might be a smaller matter might be more serious and complex than you think. It’s like taking care of a car – I could putz around and try to fix my car myself, but there’s a good chance it would take me forever and I’d still screw it up. It’s much easier for me to pay a mechanic and have it done right – and often come out paying less in the long run.

But believe me, some things are possible to do without lawyers. I got the idea to go to law school after handling a small claims case myself when I was in high school. I loved being in court, and decided to learn more – now more than 12 years later, here I am!

(Howard Zimmerle is a lawyer with offices in Rock Island and Davenport. You can contact him at hzimmerle [at] or 309-794-1660).

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Filed under Great Websites, Illinois law, Legal News, Quad Cities

New Blog Announcement!!

In addition to my work with the QC Injury Lawyers Blog, I’m also starting:


The Rock Island Workers Comp Blog

(wild, raucous applause)

It’s aimed at clients, potential clients, and any laypeople who want some basic info about Illinois Workers Compensation. It’s probably too basic for most lawyers, but it serves a different purpose than this blog.

I’m excited – it’s been fun thinking of content for the new blog. Any suggestions?

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Filed under Great Websites, Illinois law, Our Firm, Quad Cities, Workers Compensation