What Are the Different Degrees of Whiplash (WAD) Injuries?

Do you know the different classifications when it comes to whiplash injuries?

As one of the most common injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, whiplash can lead to significant pain and long-lasting consequences. What often starts as “just a stiff neck” can quickly progress to serious issues and lead to chronic pain, permanent disability, and other life-disrupting issues. Seeking medical attention and treatment immediately is essential to your recovery. Whiplash Associated Disabilities (WAD) require care and consideration to build the best path forward and ensure you receive the best compensation for your long-term health.

At James H. Brown and Associates, we know that having access to experienced legal representation following an accident or collision is your best opportunity to secure a fair settlement for WAD or related personal injuries. With over 250 years of personal injury law experience and an award-winning practice in Alberta, our team is here to support you when it matters most.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at WAD injuries, as well as the benefits of partnering with James H. Brown and Associates in your pursuit of a fair injury settlement. Read on to learn more!

Understanding WAD Injuries

Whiplash is a broad term that refers to both neck sprains and strains, typically caused by your neck being forced to snap back and forth as the result of sudden impacts and inertia. Whiplash can be dangerous because, as it predominately affects soft tissue, the initial extent of your damage isn’t always obvious from an x-ray. Common symptoms like a stiff neck, dizziness, and radiant pain throughout the neck and shoulders can progress without proper care and leave you vulnerable to longer-lasting repercussions.

To better understand the range and severity of Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD), it’s important to be aware of the following designations that doctors and physiotherapists use to classify injuries:


WAD 1 injuries result in muscle or ligament pain, but do not limit the range of motion or inhibit the regular strength of the area.


WAD 2 injuries have the same base symptoms as WAD 1, but the increased intermuscular damage leads to decreased range of motion and/or muscle spasms


WAD 3 injuries embody all of the traits of the previous categories but also have pain and damage that extends to neurological symptoms such as numbness, muscle weakness, slowed reflex and long-lasting pain.

It’s important to remember that, even with these categories in place, WAD injuries, like any ailment resulting from a collision, are rarely black and white. No two accidents are the same, and every injury deserves a fair evaluation to protect your health. Always get a complete medical diagnosis following an accident, even if you feel “fine”. Doing so could save you from years of pain and suffering.

WAD 3 Settlements and More with James H. Brown and Associates

At James H. Brown and Associates, we know that navigating legal claims for WAD injuries can be difficult. While certain types of compensation are “capped,” there are still many ways that Albertans can receive complete and fair compensation for their soft-tissue injuries. The Minor Injuries Cap does not limit damages like loss of income, long-term injuries (such as those resulting from a WAD 3 diagnosis), or other significant detriments to your quality of life. Moreover, if your case if found to be covered under the soft-tissue injury cap, James H. Brown and Associates does not charge you any legal fees. Sound legal advice from an experienced injury lawyer is the best way to determine the full extent of your damages, as well as the best way to obtain the compensation you need to move forward.

The team at James H. Brown and Associates knows firsthand what it’s like to be seriously injured and has over 250 years of combined injury law experience attaining justice and fair compensation for our clients in Calgary and across Alberta. We are proud to pursue just settlements for our clients and offer you access to:

  • An award-winning team of injury lawyers with an unrivalled record of success.
  • Complete accident investigation services, including accident reconstruction, evidence preservation, analysis, and more.
  • Access to medical and vocational professionals to fully diagnose your injuries, understand long-term consequences and provide supporting documentation for your case.
  • Strong relationships with community organizations dedicated to rehabilitation and recovery.

Looking to get started right away? Fill out our Whiplash Claim Assessment and find out how we can help in as little as 15 minutes!

Don’t Suffer Alone!

Contact us today to book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers.

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