When you find out the government or a private company wants to take your land to build a new pipeline, transmission line, or highway, after the initial shock wears off, you may wonder if you need to hire a lawyer to help you. You may think, “Why not do it myself so I keep more of the money?” But, in the case of eminent domain, hiring an attorney is usually a better way to end up with more money even after the attorney is paid. And you make the process a lot easier to deal with.
Most people haven’t dealt with eminent domain before. They often understand the concept but don’t know how the process works. Whoever is taking your land (the “condemnor”) thrives in this situation because they know the process inside out. They know how to manipulate the situation in their favor, using time pressure, ignorance of the process, and fear of an uncertain outcome to get you to accept an unfair amount for your property. Experience and research play large roles in securing reasonable compensation, but you likely don’t have the time or ability to seek either before your land is seized.
To level this playing field, you need an experienced ally on your side. While the initial offer might seem reasonable to you, an attorney can put everything into perspective, including costs and compensations you may not have considered. Your attorney can advise you when to enlist outside experts, such as appraisers, land use experts, or engineers, to help you determine how a project may harm your land and what it is really worth. You should also consider compensation for damages if only a portion of your property is taken away, but its loss negatively impacts your remaining property or causes “damages to the remainder.”
Having an experienced eminent domain lawyer representing you signals to the condemnor that you know your rights and are willing to fight if necessary to make them pay fair compensation and provide terms in the agreement that protect you and your property. Being represented by counsel also lets whoever is taking your property know that you are willing to go to court if necessary in order to be treated fairly. Ironically, this often leads to cases settling sooner for more money without having to go to court.
Todd Law Firm is equipped to provide the expertise you need to obtain an appropriate amount for your property. We act as the buffer between you and the condemning authority. And you do not pay any upfront legal fees. We only get paid if we get you more than the first offer you receive for your land, and our fee is a percentage of that increased amount. And we work on a sliding percentage, meaning the earlier in the process we can resolve your case, the lower percentage you pay on the increased amount we get for you.
So, don’t wait. If you’re facing eminent domain, get the support you need. Start by downloading my free “Texas Eminent Domain Guide”. Then, contact us to discuss your case and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.