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Government agencies are supposed to exist to serve the public. Therefore, it is only natural that you would expect the government had your best interest in mind when it was involved in a large highway or construction project. Unfortunately, many large projects require the government to obtain private lands to make way for construction or roadways. In such situations, the government’s first priority is generally to acquire the land they need, not to protect the rights of landowners.
Government agencies seeking eminent domain actions against property owners want you to believe that they are on your side. They often offer to schedule “kitchen table meeting” to explain the project, and help land owners to accept the need for the condemnation action, such as held by the Indiana DOT. These meetings often involve an initial offer from the government for compensation for the land being taken and the government will tell you that this offer is based on a fair appraisal of the land. Too often, landowners will make the mistake of trusting the government that this appraisal is fair and of accepting the initial offer for compensation, only to later learn that this offer was inadequate.
The government hires appraisers who will appraise your land at the lowest possible amount in order for the government to save as much money as possible on their projects. It is important for you to have an experienced attorney who understands eminent domain law to review any compensation offer before you accept it. An attorney cannot only review the offer themselves to ensure it is just, but can also help you get an appraisal from a third-party and to support your argument for greater compensation.
In order to avoid the chance that you may feel intimidated by the by the government and that you may unknowingly accept an offer that is unjust, you should never attend a kitchen table meeting on your own. Instead, you should always seek representation from an experienced lawyer who can be present at this kitchen table meeting and can help you negotiate a fair offer for your land.
When the government is trying to take your land, it is important to remember that they have their interests prioritized over yours. And you need a highly experienced legal team on your side who understands and will protect your rights under eminent domain laws in your state. At the law office of Sever Storey, we have successfully helped many landowners received favorable results in condemnation cases. And please do not hesitate to call our office at 888 318-3761 if you would like to learn more about how we can help you in your eminent domain case.
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