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Types of Compensation

Types of Compensation

What is "just" compensation under eminent domain?

In order to acquire property through eminent domain, the government must provide "just" compensation to the property owner. In Nebraska, the type and amount of compensation to which a landowner may be entitled is laid out in Chapter 76 of Article 7 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes. In accordance with state law, a property owner may be entitled to compensation for the fair market value of the property as well as severance damages and possibly other damages as well, such as relocation and even attorney fees. This compensation will vary on a case by case basis.

Fair Market Value
The general definition of fair market value is an estimate of the worth of property based on what a buyer would most likely pay a seller, if both parties were willing, knowledgeable and not pressured to buy or sell. For real property subject to eminent domain, this may include its location, the current market and the condition of the property.

Severance Damages
In addition to receiving compensation for the fair market value of the property, the owner may be entitled to severance damages. These are damages caused by the loss of the property. For example, a landowner may use the property for cattle. If the government seizes this property, the owner may be entitled to compensation for economic losses suffered by being unable to utilize that land for grazing or other purposes. Other severance damages may include devaluation caused by property cut down into multiple portions by an eminent domain seizure in the middle, damage to structures on the property, fence damage, crop damage and more.

Other Compensation
In addition to fair market value and severance damages, it is possible that a property owner will be entitled to compensation for relocation and all related costs, for attorney fees and other economic damages. There are even situations where a property owner who had intended to use land for a specific purpose and had taken steps to develop the land to carry out that purpose would be entitled to compensation for the income those improvements would have garnered.

Protecting Nebraska Landowners

There are so many factors to consider when determining what would be "just" compensation for property seized by the government under eminent domain laws that it is wise to consult with an attorney when dealing with these matters. DominaLaw Group litigates these matters with the highest level of professionalism and a strong commitment to securing a favorable verdict. Established in 1975, our firm has handled a wide range of cases to successful results in both State and Federal Courts, including a verdict of over one billion dollars and multi-million dollar verdicts in 11 different states. Contact a lawyer at our Omaha, NE office to discuss your right to compensation.

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