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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): http://judici.com/
Rock Island County: http://judici.com/courts/cases/case_search.jsp?court=IL081025J
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: http://www.rockislandcounty.org/AssessmentSearch/
Liquor License Search
Why? So you can sue the right entity in a dram shop case, among other benefits.
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.
Why? So you can estimate what your client’s wrecked car is worth. Negotiate wisely.
Kelly Blue Book: http://www.kbb.com/used-cars
NADA guides: http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars
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] mjwlaw.com)