Frequently Asked Questions
Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP strives to provide personalized and professional legal advice and representation at affordable rates. Whether you or your business frequently needs legal services or if this is the first time you need a lawyer, we will treat you and your legal matter with the same serious and diligent attention.
Here are some questions that clients frequently ask us:
- What should I expect from a lawyer?
- Do you have free initial consultations?
- What if I am not able to come to your office?
- I was injured. What should I do?
- Do I need a will?
- How will I be billed?
Experienced legal representation and advice in Carroll County and central Maryland
For answers to all of your personal and business legal questions, call (410) 848-4444 or contact Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP online to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our attorneys.
You can expect conversations with your attorney to remain confidential. Your attorney should help you analyze your problem, explore possible solutions and determine the cost-effectiveness of various strategies. Your attorney cannot and should not guarantee an outcome; however, you can expect your lawyer to be your best advocate and represent you in a competent, professional manner.
Personal injury matters have free initial consultations. There is usually a charge for all other initial office consultations due to the value of the attorneys’ knowledge, experience and time.
If you are not able to travel to our office for any reason, an attorney will schedule a meeting with you at your home, the hospital or at any other convenient meeting place.
If you are involved in a car accident or any other type of accident, there are certain immediate steps you should take to protect yourself and your rights. Most importantly, see a doctor if your injuries require it. As soon as you are able, take pictures of your injuries, vehicle damage, the area where the accident occurred, the unsafe product or anything else involved in the injury. Do not give a statement about how the accident happened or sign anything. And, of course, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
A will is a document stating exactly how you want your assets to be distributed at the time of your death. If you die without a will, you are leaving it up to state statutes to dictate how your assets will be distributed without regard to your desires or the needs of your heirs. In addition to a will, our lawyers can assess your financial situation and determine if other estate planning documents may be in your best interests and in the best interests of the loved ones you leave behind.
Generally, personal injury cases have contingent fees.
Flat fees are sometimes charged in criminal and traffic cases and other matters not requiring an extensive amount of time.
Most often, an hourly fee is charged for legal services performed. Bills are generally sent out on a monthly basis showing what work was performed and how the attorney’s time was spent. There are, however, certain matters that are billed at the conclusion, such as administration of estates. Your attorney can usually estimate the fees at the outset and discuss with you which variables may affect the overall cost.
An attorney may ask for a retainer fee at the beginning of some matters. In these instances, you will still receive monthly statements to keep you informed of the work that has been done on your behalf.