Hurricane Harvey caused incredible amounts of damage for the Houston area,
and thousands have found themselves dealing with the after effects of
the storm. Many homes were damaged when the Addicks and Baker dams were
released early in the morning of August 28th. The dams were released to protect the integrity of the dams and to prevent
the uncontrolled release of water that would occur if the dams were to
fail. Unfortunately for many home and business owners, the dam releases
caused even more flooding, destroying many properties.
If your home or business was damaged in flooding from the Addicks or Baker
dam release, you should know about a specific area of the law known as
“inverse condemnation.” This term refers to any circumstance
in which the government takes or damages privately owned property for
public use without any formal process of condemnation hearing. If a property
owner can demonstrate that intentional actions taken by the government
caused their property to be seized, destroyed, or damaged for public use
or benefit, it may be possible to file a claim to recover compensation.
Inverse condemnation doesn’t mean that the government acted illegally
or that negligence caused the damage to your property. Inverse condemnation
actually means that the purposeful release of the dams, which caused flooding
and damaged many properties, was for a valid reason and benefitted the
public. However, the government is required to compensate homeowners and
business owners fairly for their damaged property, even if the damage
was caused by legal use.
How Does Inverse Condemnation Work?
Typically, when the government needs to take control of land for a public
purpose, such as building a highway or installing utility lines, there
will be a specific set of proceedings to take the land and compensate
the owner for the land. When the owner isn’t compensated before
the property is seized, damaged, or destroyed, an inverse condemnation
action will be filed to recover the compensation that is owed.
Flood Insurance vs. Inverse Condemnation
You may be struggling with repairs after Hurricane Harvey, especially if
your flood insurance claim was denied or you didn’t have a flood
insurance policy. An inverse condemnation action is not flood insurance,
however. This type of legal action doesn’t rely on your insurance
policies. If you do not have flood insurance, an inverse condemnation
action may be your best chance of receiving compensation after the Addicks
and Baker dam releases.
What Damages Can I Recover?
If your home or business was damaged in the flooding caused by the Addicks
and Baker dams, you may be able to recover compensation for your property
damage. You may be entitled to the cost to rebuild or repair your business
or home. If you or your property was exposed to toxic contamination or
chemical explosions due to the dam releases, you may be able to recover
further damages. A Houston attorney who is experienced with inverse condemnation
claims can help you take action and recover the compensation you are owed.
Houston Inverse Condemnation Attorneys
Your home or business is important, even among the thousands of claims
that are the result of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation. At
Farah Law, we understand that, and we are committed to helping property owners recover
the compensation they deserve after losing their homes and businesses.
Our team of Houston inverse condemnation attorneys are prepared to help you file
an action to help you protect your property and rebuild after the storm.
Contact our offices today for a free consultation or to learn more about how Farah Law can help.