People often wonder what a WAD injury or ‘W’ ‘A’ ‘D’ injury is.

WAD stands for whiplash associated disorder and the simplest way of describing it, is that it is the most common injury that we see in motor vehicle accident type claims where there’s a flexion and extension of the neck when somebody is rear-ended while sitting in their car.

You may have heard that there are different numbers associated with WAD injuries.

We typically talk about a WAD 1, 2, 3 or four.

Whiplash associated disorders 1 and 2 typically involve a loss of range of motion in the neck, mid or low back with associated pain.

A WAD 3 will see symptoms of a loss of range of motion and pain but also involves a neurological symptom. This would be something like tingling or numbness in the extremities. For example, you might have numbness or tingling in your fingers toes, arms or your legs.

A WAD 4 injury is one again will have symptoms including a loss of range of motion and pain but also involves a fracture of bone.

Typically most of the WAD type injuries we see are the WAD one and two injuries. These injuries are still serious injuries. If you have symptoms continuing beyond six months then you’re considered to have chronic pain from a WAD injury.

In Alberta only those cases where there is complete recovery within the first six months are those considered minor injuries. All other WAD injuries or soft tissue injuries that last longer than six months are classified as being chronic pain injuries.

Chronic pain injuries from whiplash are NOT capped and don’t allow an adjuster to tell you, if you are not represented by a lawyer, that your injury is capped.

If you have a WAD injury and still have symptoms after 6 months you do not have a capped claim – it is a chronic pain claim and you should speak with a lawyer for assistance with your claim.