Life After a Work Related Injury
By now you may have seen one of our new commercials on TV or noticed one of our billboards around town. (If you haven’t, you can view them here.) There are a number of interesting stories behind this campaign, but none more interesting than that of our “star,” Mr. Brian Keith – a story that proves there is life after a work related injury.
Brian is a Knoxville native who has worked in both local and national ad campaigns and has even had roles in a couple of movies filmed locally like October Sky with Jake Gyllenhaal and That Evening Sun with Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter. Brian is also a former firefighter, having served with the Knoxville Fire Department for more than ten years.A Calling
Brian traces his story back to a summer night in 1994 when he awoke to the distinct sounds and smells of a house fire. He darted outside just as firefighters were rolling up to his neighbor’s house and began unpacking their gear. He marveled at their team work under pressure and how they ran unflinchingly into the blaze. He immediately knew that he wanted to be a part of it.
He began the application process, which he would learn can take as long as 12-18 months. He passed his Civil Service test, had several interviews, went for a physical exam, took a polygraph test, and waited. And he waited. The process took so long that he actually gave up and moved to Boston to stay with a friend and look for work.
On February 10, 1997, while he was still in Boston, a letter arrived to his Knoxville home informing him that he had been hired. He immediately returned home to Knoxville and began the grueling, 21-week training program.
“They taught us everything we needed to know about fighting fires and saving lives,” says Brian. “But the most important thing they taught us was how to run into something that everyone else instinctively runs away from.”Job Hazards
Being a firefighter is obviously risky and Brian sustained numerous injuries over the course of his career. He was shot at on several occasions, he needed stitches after banging his head on a piece of equipment, and was even knocked unconscious while diving for cover. So it’s a little ironic that it was something comparatively simple ended his career.
In 2005, Brian’s crew responded to an ordinary house fire. He was driving the truck and helping with outside support. As the team was making its exit, Brian was helping pull equipment from the house and accidentally stepped backward off of the porch. It was only about a two-foot drop; he landed wrong and turned his ankle. He says he didn’t even notice the pain until the next morning. It turned out that he had a third degree sprain and a partially torn Achilles tendon.
Over the course of the next year and a half, the ankle would heal, only to be injured again and again. Finally, Brian’s doctors recommended surgery to repair the Achilles. However, the injury to Brian’s ankle would eventually end his career as a firefighter.A New Chapter
Brian actually began acting in 1995. As a firefighter, his schedule often provided three or four days off at a time, which allowed him to work on side projects. In his retirement, he decided to pursue it full time. He’s not “made it big” yet, but the work has been steady enough to provide for him and his family. He started off playing a lot of “good guy” parts – detectives, firefighters and such. More recently though, his roles have been a bit darker. “It’s kind of fun being the bad guy,” he says.
He feels fortunate to have the opportunity to represent The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto in our new campaign. “I’ve known a lot of lawyers in my life,” says Brian. “The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are different. They are friendly, compassionate and there when you need them. It’s the kind of service that you don’t normally expect from a law firm. They really care.”Serious Lawyers Who Know How to Win
Though this particular campaign focuses on our experience with car accident cases, The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto is a full service law firm. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, have a work related injury, been denied your Social Security benefits, or need help with your Veterans’ Disability claim, you need a serious lawyer who knows how to win. Contact The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto today. Call (865) 691-2777 or use the convenient online form.