What Is My Case Worth?

Every time we meet a new client, one of the first things they want to know is if the offer made for their property is fair. 95% of the time our answer is a resounding “NO.” There are very few people (including attorneys) who have the skill and experience to properly evaluate your eminent domain case. That’s where the experienced attorneys at Sever Storey Walker can help.

Knowing Matters

Without proper evaluation you can’t make an informed decision on the appropriate just compensation you are entitled to as part of an eminent domain case. Knowing all of the elements that add value to your land is one of the most important parts of any condemnation matter.

Evaluation Basics

In properly evaluating your property, there are certain basic questions that we ask at in every case. These include:

1) What is the value of the property before the taking and what is the value after the taking? In other words, how does the acquisition change the overall value of the property. For instance, does the taking bisect a productive farm, splitting it into two smaller pieces? Or does the taking eliminate access or affect zoning. Significant changes to the property can lead to substantial residue damages.

2) What is the highest and best use of the property? In other words, what is the reasonable and probable use that supports the highest value at the date of the appraisal. The key question is what is the reasonably probable use that is legally allowable, physically possible, financially feasible and maximally productive? This determination can be crucially important in some cases! For example, a property may be currently used as a dwelling and for residential use but have a highest and best use as commercial. Commercial land could be selling for significantly more than residential property and therefore produce a much greater amount of just compensation.

3) Is the property unique? Is there anything unique about the property—something that sets it apart and creates additional value? Evaluating unique elements can make a significant impact in just compensation in some instances.

These are just some of the elements that make up a proper evaluation of value in an eminent domain case. At Sever Storey Walker we have successfully helped hundreds of clients elevate their amount of just compensation. We have represented every type of landowner, including large and small commercial landowners, farmers, dairy operators, universities, residential property owners, churches, restaurants, and many others. We don’t just deal with your problems today but also keep our eye on what potential issues the eminent domain action may cause in the future.

Don’t Agree To A Settlement Until You Know

Many people who contact our office feel overwhelmed by the eminent domain process. They are angry and upset. They have a sense that they are being cheated, but they are not sure what to do about it. They feel pressured to agree with the eminent domain offer but are uneasy about making the wrong decision. These feelings are all a result of not knowing the true value of the case. You may want to just agree to resolve your case, but by doing so you are almost certainly accepting far less what you are entitled to.

Getting the maximum result in your eminent domain case is the job for the experienced team of attorneys at Sever Storey. The attorneys at Sever Storey Walker have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We have earned the trust of landowners by handling eminent domain cases with skill and aggressiveness. In some instances we can represent clients on a contingency fee basis. In these situations you will not pay attorney fees unless we recover more for you than you were offered.