You suffered a significant injury.
You believe that a doctor or hospital was responsible for your injury.
Your medical expenses were significant. You've been out of work for a lengthy period of time. You know that the true value to your case is worth a lot of money.
If you bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harms of losses you suffered, why won't the defense attorney immediately recognize the true value of your injuries? Why won't they offer you what your case is really worth?
The reality is that the defense attorney has a different agenda than you.
The defense attorney is hired by the doctor or hospital you have sued or their insurance company in order to defend against your claim. They are not in the business of simply paying you everything you are asking for. If that were the case, the doctors, hospitals and insurance companies would have no need for attorneys.
Instead, the defense attorney's first job is to accumulate all of your records to determine if, what you are claiming, is true. The defense attorney will look for every opportunity to poke holes in your story. They will look for every chance to show that you have lied or contradicted yourself at some point in your treatment or in your past.
The defense attorneys goal is to show that you cannot be believed.
Their goal is to destroy your credibility at all costs. Their goal is to show to a jury that you cannot tell a straight story. The upshot of that is that if you tell a lie, how can you build be believed about your injuries and the extent of your injuries?
The other goal that the defense attorney has is to minimize your injuries.
Even if they acknowledge and accept the fact that their client, whether it is a doctor or hospital caused or contributed to your injuries, the defense will always argue that your injuries are nowhere near as significant as you claim them to be.
Your agenda is to show to a jury the true extent of the harms and losses you have suffered.
A defense lawyer's agenda is to destroy your credibility and to minimize the value of your injuries and limit the amount that his client or insurance company has to pay out on your behalf.
Ideally, the defense attorney will try and show to a jury that you are not entitled to a verdict in your favor and then also argue at the same time that even if you are entitled to a verdict in your favor, it should be minimal and then explain why.
These competing agendas often show up during settlement negotiations either in court, privately amongst the attorneys or during mediation.