It can be hard to get your bearings after you’re informed of the government’s intent to take your property for the public good. You might be reeling as you try to figure out the process, and figuring out how to protect your interests as fully as possible can be confusing and stressful. Given the emotions that are often involved in the process, many people make mistakes during the eminent domain process that jeopardize their right to fair compensation.
Commonly made mistakes in eminent domain cases
If you want to prevent that from happening to you, you need to be cognizant of those errors so that you can avoid them. And the mistakes can start early, so make sure you’re on your toes as you remain alert for any of the following issues:
- Failing to request a copy of the government’s appraisal: Your offer of just compensation for taking your land is going to be based on a formal appraisal. If you don’t obtain a copy of this appraisal and closely analyze it, you’re going to be taking the government at its word as to what your land is worth. By obtaining a copy of the appraisal and scrutinizing it, on the other hand, you can challenge the value of certain aspects of your property, or you might catch some things that the appraiser missed that might add value to your property.
- Voicing your opinion of the value of your property: When the government sends an appraiser out to assess your property, they’re probably going to engage you in what seems like innocent conversation. However, the appraiser is taking notes. If you later disagree with your property’s appraised value and seek to challenge it in court, your statements about what you think your property is worth can be used against you. So, be mindful of what you say throughout the process.
- Not asking about expenses tied to relocation: If your property is going to be taken from you, you’re going to incur significant expenses in moving all of your belongings to a new location. You might have to rent a moving truck and a storage unit, the costs of which can quickly add up over time. As you navigate this process, you should make sure you ask about your ability to recover relocation expenses. After all, the other side probably isn’t going to voluntarily fork those funds over.
- Accepting the initial offer: It can be intimidating to work with the government as it seeks to take your property. As a result, many people accept the first offer that’s made on their property. You don’t have to do this. Remember, you have a Constitutional right to fair and just compensation. Therefore, if you disagree with what the government is offering you, you should put in the effort to challenge their position and secure the compensation that you deserve.
Know how to protect your interests in your eminent domain case
The outcome of your eminent domain case can set the stage for your long-term financial future. As a result, you need to get everything that you can out of the process. In order to do so, you need to know how the law applies to your set of circumstances and what you can do to protect your interests as fully as possible.
You might be thinking that’s hard to do given that you’ve never been in this position before, but that’s why legal teams like ours stand ready to advocate on your behalf. So, if you’re looking for representation, please think about contacting those firms that interest you to discuss the circumstances of your case in-depth.