Setting: not entirely sure, either modern day or recent past, within about 20 years. Probably California, United States.
I need my character to lose vocal function permanently.
He should lose either his ability to use his voice, or the ability to move his mouth in such a way that he could speak properly. I would prefer the first option, but which one is more likely to happen as a result of sudden, one-time physical trauma? Which is more likely to permanently inhibit his speaking ability?
What kind of accident would be likely to cause that kind of damage?
I know most sports have the potential for causing such an injury, but for which sports is it the most likely? And what exactly would happen? Would he fall, for example in gymnastics/cycling/running etc? Or would it involve another person, like in wrestling?
What about car accidents?
Fist-fights? What about fights involving blunt objects? Where and how would someone have to hit this character in order to mess up his vocal ability or to badly break his jaw?
Are there any other types of injuries that would be plausible?
I know that's a lot of questions! But I have a lot freedom in the story at this point, and I'd like to know as much as I can about both options before I decide.