Tom is a 23-year-old man who works as a butcher at a local deli in Oakland, California. He’s had the same job for the past two years, and manages to get by when it comes to paying rent by splitting it down the middle with his roommate Jake. The rest of the money he uses for his most necessary expenses, and he’s trying to save up to get a car of his own to make the commute to and from work an easier one.
As part of the responsibilities that comes with the job, Tom has to catalog, cut and label everything that comes in. Somewhere in October of 2018, his boss let him know that he was going to work with a new trainee - and it was his job to show them the basics of what had to be done in the deli every day.
The idea of being able to work with an assistant would certainly make his job a lot easier - and it was both easier and better for his job if he was able to train the assistant himself. He agreed to the deal, and the owner said that they could get straight to work. The trainee, he said, had already been working at another deli for a good few months and already knew their way around the basics of which cuts to make and where.
The morning routine started early with cleaning the store before they would open up for customers. This took about an hour, but Tom decided that they should start about half an hour earlier - this way he would have enough time to teach Mike everything he needed to know.
The first thing Mike had to do was make sure that the floors and counters were both clean and dry. Tom was happy with this, and suggested that they make their way to the cutting equipment.
It was then that the accident took place that would change the course of Tom’s entire life from there. On his way to the machine, he slipped and fell forward with his chin against one of the counters.
Mike asked if he was okay: He was unable to move his jaw.
At the emergency room, immediate tests were ordered and scans had to be done in order to establish how bad the damage from the fall was. It was worse than the doctor had initially suspected: Tom had not only dislocated his jaw, he had fractured it. The trauma also resulted in prolonged migraine headaches.
This was a much worse injury than just simple bruises. It required an emergency surgery in order to fix the damage - and the doctor explained that it was going to take at least six months off work in time for him to make a full recovery.
As a direct result of the accident, Tom now finds it hard to move his jaw and experiences considerable chronic pain. He lost two teeth and cracked two others in the accident, and he has had to have additional surgical procedures to fix the damage to his teeth. This has totaled several hundred dollars so far, and Tom has already had considerable trouble covering the costs from his savings.
There are still some surgeries necessary to fix the damage done to Tom’s jaw as a result of the accident. In the meantime, Tom’s boss has refused to be held accountable for what happened and says that he has no foot to stand on.
Tom’s boss has also gone on to appoint the trainee in the same position that Tom was training him for - except now Tom has been told that he doesn’t have to come back to work.
Speak with a brain injury lawyer if this sounds familiar.