Property owners affected by eminent domain are entitled to just compensation, which usually includes the highest and best use value for their land taken and any damages to the remainder parcel. Typically, the court system seeks to achieve just compensation through the remedy of damages. It’s important for both property owners and attorneys to recognize the types of eminent domain damages that may or may not be available when calculating just compensation.
The damages that property owners are entitled to receive under the rules of eminent domain law are based on a term that’s called highest and best use.
The before and after analysis considers the value of your property before the project comes along (highest and best use) and compares that to the value of your property after the government has acquired whatever land that they need from you for their project.
If the concept of assemblage or joining together of lots in the marketplace at your location is very real and is very likely to occur, then that concept can be incorporated into determining your damages.
Whether or not the presence or threat of contaminates on a property should be admissible as evidence in court when determining the amount of just compensation is largely undetermined in most states and is therefore a cutting edge issue in eminent domain law.
Minerals present can range from sand or gravel to oil or gas. Under the rules of eminent domain law, if a property owner has mineral rights on their property, those rights must be considered when determining just compensation.
There are many instances where condemnation imparts far more damage than what is typically covered for in the appraisal and relocation process. Business owners for example can suffer from a decline in business during the relocation process, or a business might be forced to close if they are unable to find a suitable replacement property to move into.