Non Accidental Injury (NAI)

Along with my team at Wollens Solicitors, I work exclusively in defending parents in care proceedings who have been accused of harming their child. Such allegations often kick start an incredibly daunting legal process.

The parents I work with often tell me it’s a real struggle to find reliable information in one place about being accused of physical abuse, how care proceedings work and what they should be looking for when choosing a solicitor to represent them. I hope that by sharing my experiences with you I can help make the process clearer and easier to understand. Please get in touch at the earliest opportunity if you need legal representation or advice.

Non-accidental injury (NAI) is a term which is used to refer to many different types of physical injury or abuse, for example:

  • Bone fracture (rib fracture, metaphyseal fracture, skull fracture, long bone fractures, etc)
  • Smothering
  • Poisoning
  • Bruising
  • Shaken baby syndrome / head injury
  • Torn frenulum
  • Infant death

Where non-accidental injury 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.

It is important that all medical causes are considered when looking at an alleged non-accidental injury. Although rare, some conditions can mimic signs of child abuse, these include brittle bone (Osteogenesis Imperfecta), vitamin D deficiency (Rickets), bleeding disorders which can lead to easy bruising, etc.

When an injury has been identified, either with no explanation or with an explanation that the doctors do not accept, it is likely that social services will become involved and the Local Authority will start care proceedings.

Whilst it is vital that you obtain legal advice early on if you are suspected of harming your child, it is equally as important to instruct a solicitor with the right knowledge and expertise for your circumstances.

You can find out more about me and my colleagues here.

This website contains information about different injuries, potential causes and the law relating to non-accidental injury. You will also find more information about the work we do with details of cases we have worked on recently. Read some of our cases here.  

If you have been accused of non-accidental injury and are seeking legal representation, contact us today on 01803 213 251 or email