North Carolina Eminent Domain Lawyers

How to Potentially Get Paid, Even When the NCDOT’s “Fair Offer” Is Zero

Inverse condemnation is a funny thing. Not ha ha funny, but rather odd funny. It’s a back-handed way property owners can use to try to make the government pay them for damages an eminent domain project causes to their property.

Advantages of Inverse Condemnation

In simplistic terms, here is how inverse condemnation can potentially work to your advantage.

When the state needs property for a road or other public project, it must purchase your property or file an eminent domain lawsuit to obtain the rights to your property. Under North Carolina eminent domain law, the state must pay you just compensation for damages caused to that property, whether it’s digging up your front yard for part of the road, or taking parking spaces from your business for a permanent utility easement.

In order to pay you for damages, they must reach an agreement with you as to what is fair, or file an eminent domain lawsuit. If they do not file suit, but your property is damaged by the project, you can file an inverse condemnation lawsuit. This lawsuit will force the government to review the damages caused to your property, and either reach an agreement with you as to the fair payment, or have a jury decide what is fair.

How We Went From $0 to Over $700,000 for a Client*

Here is an example of a case we handled in which we filed an inverse condemnation to get the government to sue our client, and therefore pay them for damages a roadway project caused to their business.* (Incidentally, this was a case that another North Carolina eminent domain law firm turned away. It was brought to our attention by an expert who sometimes works with us on property evaluations and knows our reputation.)

In this case, the NCDOT denied taking the property and offered nothing to the property owner. True, the NCDOT did not take any physical property, but we argued that the roadway project would effectively kill the property owner’s business. We went to work litigating an inverse condemnation case, and reached a settlement with the NCDOT for more than $700,000.*

While this illustrates just one example of why North Carolina property owners would file an inverse condemnation lawsuit, here are other reasons to file:

  • Waste or runoff from a government project pollutes farmland or other property, effectively condemning the property without just compensation.
  • The city pays compensation for a partial taking of a business property for road widening, but the project effectively kills the business by taking up its entire parking lot and limiting customer access.
  • The Department of Transportation occupies private property for a construction project but fails to provide compensation for a temporary taking.
  • Noise from an airport or small base constructed nearby effectively devalues private residential property.
  • The government’s project didn’t adequately account for storm drainage and your property is repeatedly flooded.

Even better, North Carolina property owners who file inverse condemnation cases can potentially obtain, not only damages, but attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and potentially other costs associated with their case.

Our Contingency Fee Works to the Property Owner’s Advantage

Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means that if we don't get you any additional compensation over what the government has offered you, we don't collect an attorney's fee.

Your Case Evaluation is Free at NC Eminent Domain Law Firm

At the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm we'll evaluate your case first. If we think we might be able to help, here's what you may potentially receive:

  • Our analysis of your property and the government's plans for it
  • An explanation of the legal aspects of the eminent domain process
  • A professional evaluation of the government's offer (if you've received one)

All for no cost and no obligation to hire us afterward. If you have any questions, or would like to claim your free case evaluation, click here or call us at 877-393-4990.


*Each case is different and must be evaluated separately. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Average based on each case’s increase as of 12/31/17.


We Have Numerous Convenient Office Locations throughout North Carolina.