KIDS aims to provide the best guidance and support services to ensure each child receives the care they deserve. However, in unique cases, one may need to seek advice from a specialist.

Below are some circumstances in which a family my want to seek legal aide, as well as resources available that serve families with disabilities.


How KIDS can help
KIDS SEND Mediation Service is an independent mediation and disagreement resolution service, which is free of charge for parents/carers of disabled children and young people. Our service helps to settle disagreements between parents or young people and local authorities and schools or other education providers. Click here to find out more about this service or call our helpline on 03330 062 835. Our advisory team can guide you and your family through the mediation process.


Getting free legal advice
Depending on individual financial circumstances, your family may be eligible for free legal support. You can seek advice from a specialist solicitor, or you could visit the government's legal aid webpage for more information.

You may still be able to access free legal advice if you are not eligible for legal aid. See our resources below for more information:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau offer free, confidential advice and guidance on a broad range of legal matters
  • LawWorks connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay.
  • Disability Law Service provide free legal advice to people with disabilities and their carers to ensure that they have access to their rights and justice.
  • Law Centres Network provide a comprehensive list of Law Centres across the UK who can defend the legal rights of people who cannot afford a lawyer. They are specialists working in their local communities.

Social Care
If you experience difficulties accessing services, such as short breaks or direct payments, or your local authority withdraws or reduces a service. The decisions can normally be challenged using the local authority's complaints procedure or complaining to the Ombudsman, your local councillor or your MP.

You could seek advice from a solicitor about your options if you're still unhappy with the outcome of your complaint. You may have to go through the complaints procedure before starting legal action, although exceptions might be made if the removal of the service would put you or your child at risk.

ESA/PIP Payments
If you are having trouble accessing necessary state monetary support for your disabled child, you may seek the advice and support of a solicitor to obtain your rightful benefits.

You can find a list of regulations, forms and guidance on PIP payments, with links to the documents from the Disability Rights UK website

Education
Getting the right support for a child’s specific special educational needs can be made difficult by lack of cooperation with local service providers. Some examples include school and college transport, exclusions and disability discrimination.

KIDS can help guide you and can attend meetings through our mediation team. If mediation or other complaints or appeal routes have not been successful in resolving discriminatory practices, a solicitor might be able to help challenge decisions made by the local authority.

Accidents
You may be able to claim compensation for your child should they suffer a serious accident or injury. Private treatment, specialist equipment, adapted accommodation or support services can be covered or offset by just compensation. This can provide the necessary support needed to see your child through recovery.

Clinical negligence
Sometimes doctors or healthcare providers make a mistake with regard to the care they provide to a patient, falling short of what could be reasonably expected from them. This is known as clinical negligence. If your child has suffered a severe injury due to suspected clinical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for the support required for your child’s recovery. A claim for compensation can provide you and your family with peace of mind that your child's future care needs will be looked after and ensure you get all the support available to you.

When compensation isn’t enough, it is possible to obtain an official apology as well as compensation by bringing a claim. Action Against Medical Negligence can provide free independent advice and support to people affected by medical accidents (lapses in patient safety) through their specialist helpline.

We work with the solicitors listed below who support our work and have experience of working with families with disabled children. KIDS does not recommend any particular solicitors, however, we are confident that they are reputable. You can have a free, no obligation conversation with these firms.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell Solicitors has the largest, dedicated medical negligence department in the UK and is one of the only UK law firms that can offer
legal aid for certain birth injury claims.

Our experienced team will take the time to understand what you are going through, helping you get the answers and compensation you and your child
deserve.

Irwin Mitchell is a national firm with offices across the country. We will always
visit you at your home or at a place that works best for you and your family.

Contact:

Sarah Coles, Partner

Freephone: 08000 23 22 33  
Email: [email protected]    
Website: www.irwinmitchell.com/personal/medical-negligence              

Leigh Day

We are a specialist law firm with some of the country's leading clinical
negligence, personal injury, employment and human rights lawyers.

Our expertise means we understand the difficulties you face and will work with
you to try to resolve them and make your life easier.

We are based in London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Contact:

Nicola Wainwright

Phone: 0207 650 1200
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.leighday.co.uk/Medical-negligence