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Road construction is one of those unavoidable annoyances of life. As the population grows and shifts, governments need to update, expand, and create entirely new infrastructure. This results in constant projects that most of us experience as traffic delays and construction zones.
In some cases, however, the government needs privately owned land to complete these projects, and uses the power of eminent domain to seize it.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)’s website, the agency is conducting a study for the improvement of Illinois Route 47 from Cross Street in Sugar Grove to Kennedy Road in Yorkville. The agency is conducting the study to identify potential improvements that will help accommodate a projected increase in traffic in the area. IDOT is already at work expanding Route 47 further to the south, between Yorkville and Morris.
The power of eminent domain allows the government (or parties authorized by the government) to take private property for a public purpose. Courts have interpreted the public purpose requirement broadly, which means that they uphold the vast majority of eminent domain actions. Landowners, however, are legally entitled to just compensation for their properties.
Not surprisingly, landowners and condemning authorities may significantly disagree about exactly what just compensation is in a given case. This is why landowners who are facing an eminent domain taking must retain a lawyer to represent them in negotiations. A lawyer who knows eminent domain law can determine the value of your property and make sure that you do not accept a settlement offer that is too low. In addition, if the government is unwilling to make a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve under the law.
Many landowners are concerned that the costs associated with hiring a lawyer will mean that they will receive less money than they would if they had just accepted the first offer.
Not when you work with Sever Storey. We only collect legal fees on the amount above the initial offer we are able to secure. For example, if the initial offer is $100,000 and we are able to obtain $150,000, we will only collect legal fees on the $50,000 above the initial offer. Our fees are typically 33 percent, so in the preceding scenario, you would receive $133,500.
If you’re a landowner who is facing an eminent domain action or believe that the government may subject your property to one in the near future, talk to an attorney as soon as you can. The lawyers of Sever Storey have more than 25 years of experience representing landowners’ rights, and we know how to get our clients the full value of their property. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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