Eminent domain cases can seem confusing and complicated. When faced with condemning entities, it is easy for landowners to feel like they do not have good options in the condemnation process.
Although there are opportunities to appeal a condemnation action, this is a complex area of law where landowners often feel worried about being able to present a solid case showing the loss and damage to their property. After the decision on what lawyer to use, the choice of expert may be the most important decision you make. Having a well-qualified and well-spoken expert witness can help you support your case in an eminent domain hearing.
Here are some things you should know about expert witnesses and how they can help you be fairly compensated when your property has been condemned.
What makes them an expert?
In eminent domain cases, an expert witness is typically a licensed appraiser. In addition to their expertise in the field, they will also understand how to apply their experience as an appraiser to the issue that a jury or court must decide – – the loss in the market value of your property.
Are expert witnesses paid to give a specific testimony?
A qualified expert witness will know a lot about property values and how they are affected by the kind of “taking” that you face. A good expert will also have experience working with people in a similar situation to yours. The expert should be able to clearly explain the process they use to figure out the loss in value. The expert will make an independent analysis of the value you are losing, and will testify regarding about your property and how it will be devalued in the market after the “taking.”
In an eminent domain lawsuit, expert witnesses may disagree significantly about the loss of property value. While opposing expert witnesses may be experts in the same field, they may have knowledge or experience that leads them to very different conclusions. Great discrepancies between the opinions of experts might lead a judge or jury to decide that one of the experts is just not being honest.
So it is important for you to feel like you have a very credible expert appraiser testifying on your side.
How does an expert witness help?
The right expert witness in your case can bring the power of professional credibility to your side of an eminent domain lawsuit. Testimony that is both professionally credible and that makes common sense can go a long way toward making it more likely that you will get just compensation for your property.
When facing condemning entities in an eminent domain case, it is essential to work with experienced professionals who can help you get the right support for your case.