It is a term which is used to refer to many different types of physical injury or abuse, for example:
Where a NAI is suspected, there are many issues that will need to be considered including the timing/age of the alleged injury, the degree of force needed to cause it, how such an injury can be caused (the mechanism), the presentation of the child and, most importantly, the differentiation between natural causes (medical conditions), accidental causes and non-accidental causes.
When an injury has been identified, either with no explanation or with an explanation that the doctors do not accept explains the injuries sustained, it is likely that social services will become involved for the protection of the child whilst investigations are ongoing and the Local Authority will start care proceedings. It is vital that parents seek legal advice from an experienced care solicitor who specialises in this field as soon as possible where NAI is suspected.
Some injuries to a child can show obvious signs others are not so much and are discovered upon further medical exploration. What is not always so obvious are any underlying reasons why the injury may have presented itself or the real circumstances which lie behind it.
A major part of our job as your solicitors is to listen to you and help you to provide the evidence needed to explore your side of the story. All too often professionals dealing with injuries to children jump to conclusions that the injury must have been caused non-accidentally if they are told that the injuries do not fit with the explanation provided. That very often includes getting new and impartial professionals to review the evidence, photos, doctors’ reports and reports from social services to get all the data about what happened. Sometimes we even get totally new examinations done, where considered necessary. Through the process of getting all that additional evidence we can often show a different story to what a parent is being accused of.
Rebecca Ward has a national reputation as a solicitor acting in non-accidental injury cases for parents. We have worked together over the years. She has always impressed me with her ability to strike up a rapport with her clients and the opponents in cases. She is regularly seen in cases as the person who gets things done. Her attention to detail is phenomenal. In my experience Rebecca’s clients can rely on her to give them realistic advice at the outset of their cases and she will ensure that the client’s interests are robustly presented throughout. Rebecca’s immense skill in her chosen sphere ensures that she makes a real difference for her clients.
As a barrister representing parents in cases in which non-accidental injury is alleged I breathe a sigh of relief when I am instructed by Rebecca Ward and the team at Brendan Fleming. I know that the client will have received sympathetic and sensible advice about their case. I know that when a statement is taken in the case it will be comprehensive and helpful to the court. I know that the right experts will have been identified to assist in the case and I know that because Rebecca and her team specialise in these types of cases, the experts they approach will be known to them as helpful and objective witnesses. I’ve experience of Rebecca with her clients in conference with me I so I know, first hand, that the clients get straightforward and sensible advice.
Rebecca Ward’s attention to detail and ability to build a close working relationship with the client and the barristers she instructs makes her an obvious "go to" solicitor for complex Non-Accidental Injury and Fabricated or Induced Illness cases. She works exceptionally hard for her clients, has a forensic approach, and always goes the extra mile in case preparation. The breadth of Rebecca’s specialist knowledge in these cases makes her really stand out.
Rebecca Ward from Brendan Fleming supported me all the way through from the first meeting and to the very end of the care proceedings. She went far and beyond. At the beginning I lost all hope of being reunited with my girls in my care again, but all that changed. It was a very long process but Rebecca and my Barrister Dorian Day supported and explained every part of the proceedings to me and gave the best advice I could of wished for. I was going through a difficult time and they shown me that the light is still at the end of the tunnel and after a long 2 and half years my girls were finally put back into mine and my husband's care. Where they belong. We as a family would like to thank you Rebecca for everything and for getting us back together as a family again. I don't think I could of got through it all with out the support you gave me. Thank you again. I would highly recommend Brendan Fleming to all those who felt exactly how I felt at the very beginning where you feel like there is no hope. But there is always hope, especially when you have the right legal team behind you
“Thank God we have solicitors who will work for us! I felt really happy with the appointment and felt really reassured by Rebecca and Brendan. I couldn’t sleep the night before, but felt much more at ease after the appointment. Both were really helpful and, by the service so far, I would thoroughly recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors to others”
Amazing. Rebecca was and is amazing. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how great she is and how hard she has worked for us. ………. I’m sorry for getting emotional but Rebecca has treated us as though we were her friend, she has always been there for us. It isn’t just a job to her, this was all just as important to Rebecca as it is to us. I would highly recommend Rebecca to anyone.”
Rebecca is fantastic and very good to work with. I would recommend Rebecca to anybody who needed help. If Rebecca was unavailable she would either get back to me as soon as possible or if she was in Court she would get another member of staff to speak to me. Rebecca is very honest and she would not tell me something that would not happen. She was straight down the line and any information or documents needed she would send these out promptly.
Rebecca was exceptionally amazing. I could ask her any question 24/7 and she would get back to me. She was very straight forward down the line and made sure that I understood everything that was being said to me and would go through things how many times was needed. Rebecca was very friendly and supportive and if it was not for her I do not think that I would have got through the case. I suffer from panic attacks and Rebecca would calm me down and make sure that I was all right. Rebecca was very approachable and always supportive even at weekends. I would definitely recommend Rebecca to any of my friends or family if they were ever in the situation I was in. I would have given up if it was not for the support of Rebecca and the encouragement to continue.
Through Rebecca and Gemma and the rest of the team at Brendan Fleming our children were removed from the Child Protection Register and an apology was given from the Local Authority of how they handled our case. We are so happy that this is finally over and we can move forward with our lives with our family altogether. We are thankful for everything Rebecca and Gemma have done for us without the expertise and support I think there would have been a very different outcome and I really cannot thank Rebecca enough for helping them to get the children back at home where they belong. Thanks again Hannah.
I was very pleased with how quickly I was seen once making the call to Brendan Fleming Solicitors. I was seen straight away and Rebecca reassured me that she would fight my corner. She was very thorough and put across my case to the Courts. I emailed quite a lot with questions and ideas and Rebecca never failed to respond to me more or less straight away even at night and weekends. Rebecca was very caring and very approachable and I would recommend this firm to anybody who needed help.
Rebecca was amazing and she went out of her way to help her. Rebecca would contact me whether it was evenings or weekends and whether this was a small enquiry she always helped if she could. She would always ask how I was and how the children were and I felt that she could approach Rebecca and speak to Rebecca about anything. I felt that I was not just a client and that Rebecca was very friendly and showed all interest in aspects of her life not just on legal matters.
I was very happy with the outcome. Sometimes I found things very difficult and thought that the process was long but in the end I got the result that I wanted.
Rebecca is brilliant and is very professional and is an asset to the company. I have used other Solicitors in the past and you are far better than any other. I admire Rebecca and she put herself out when the Local Authority kept sending and delaying important documents she went to the offices and collected them herself. I would recommend Rebecca and the firm to anyone who needs help.