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Eminent Domain Damages in California


As a property owner, you have the right to receive compensation for damages that have directly and indirectly resulted from the government taking a portion of your property by eminent domain. Determining the extent of the damages your property has suffered as a result of the eminent domain action can be a complex affair that requires professional legal knowledge and a deep familiarity with these types of cases. You should get in touch with an experienced and resourceful Los Angeles eminent domain attorney today to get started on your case.

Eminent domain disputes are difficult in nature due to the amount of technicalities and considerations involved. Without legal assistance, you may find yourself at a loss on how to proceed with your case without losing out on a fair settlement. John S. Peterson and his legal associates at Peterson Law Group, P.C. have helped many clients in the past fight the government and other powerful entities to get the compensation they deserve. We pride ourselves on our ability to formulate creative and effective strategies that directly address the needs of our clients. To learn more about your rights and legal options, please call us today at (213) 236-9720.

What Compensation Am I Entitled To For Property That Was Taken In Los Angeles?

If the government has taken a portion of your property by eminent domain, you should receive:

  • Fair compensation for the value of the property
  • Fair compensation for damages to your remaining property that results from the eminent domain action

Of course, “fair” can be construed as a subjective term rather than an objective judgment. Even if they say otherwise, the government may offer you compensation that is not adequate or fair. Make sure to consult with an attorney before you close a deal.

What Is Direct Damage?

Direct damage refers to the value of the property that is taken from the owner by the government. Disputes over the scope of the property are rare; however, value is often a point of contention. Under California’s Eminent Domain Law, the government must pay the owner “fair market value” for the property taken.

According to California’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 1263.320 (a): “The fair market value of the property taken is the highest price on the date of valuation that would be agreed to by a seller, being willing to sell but under no particular or urgent necessity for so doing, nor obliged to sell, and a buyer, being ready, willing, and able to buy but under no particular necessity for so doing, each dealing with the other with full knowledge of all the uses and purposes for which the property is reasonable adaptable and available.”

The government and the property owner usually employ their own real estate appraisers to present what they believe to be the property’s fair market value to the jury. In many cases, the two appraiser’s opinions differ widely, sometimes by hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. It is absolutely vital for the property owner to retain both an attorney and a real estate appraiser who are highly skilled in their fields.

What Are Severance Damages?

The taking of the portion of your property may adversely affect your remaining property, causing damages. These damages are referred to as severance damages (can also be called indirect or consequential damages). Examples of severance damages include the following:

  • Remaining property becomes difficult to access
  • Construction and maintenance of taken property reduces value of the remaining property
  • Aesthetic value of remaining property is reduced as a result of work being done on taken property

You may only receive severance damages if the value of your remaining property experiences a decrease. Additionally, you cannot receive future severance damages based on speculation.

Reliable Los Angeles Eminent Domain Lawyers

At Peterson Law Group, P.C., we work with an extensive network of real estate appraisers and other advisors who are highly reputable in their respective fields. Together, we can work towards attaining an optimal compensation amount on your behalf. Contact us today for more information.

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