Appraisals are confusing. The jargon is overwhelming.

But even with that said, the innate sense in all of us is that “I can handle this. This is my property. I can competently defend it by myself.”

This type of attitude, while admirable and seemingly obvious, can get landowners into trouble.

Eminent domain is an extremely niche area of law. Most attorneys have no idea how to handle it and what to do; there is no reason for you to be expected to be able to handle it yourself. Even the landowner that doubles his offer on his own, or negotiates what he or she sees as a sweet deal, may be missing out on tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in available money. There are so many safe havens for landowners, built into Illinois laws to protect landowners from condemning authorities. Do not miss out on these legal pockets out of stubbornness.

So the question is: when should you hire/contact an Illinois eminent domain attorney?

The answer:

1) You should contact an Illinois eminent domain attorney AS SOON AS YOU BECOME AWARE YOUR PROPERTY IS WITHIN THE PATH OF THE ROUTE. Why this early? It allows your attorney enough time to start building a strategy. More often than not, you can learn the general path of a roadway or project over your property ahead of the appraisal. An experienced eminent domain attorney will automatically spot areas to look out for if the route is known.

2) You should HIRE AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS YOU ARE PROVIDED AN APPRAISAL BY THE STATE/TOLLWAY/UTILITY COMPANY/ETC. This appraisal will give an experienced eminent domain attorney all he or she needs to have to know whether you have a case or not. It will provide the exact effect the project will have on your property, and will showcase the exact errors the condemning authority made in the valuation of your property.

Unsure if you should hire an eminent domain attorney? Let Sever Storey review your appraisal FOR FREE. Sever Storey attorneys are more than happy to take a look at your appraisal and GIVE YOU A FREE CASE REVIEW. No strings, no invoices, no hourly fees; just honest assessment and evaluation free of charge. Our Illinois attorney, Jordan Walker, is standing by, waiting for your call and free appraisal review.

If you are interested in a free consultation or appraisal review, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at