Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Workers’ Compensation

A work-related injury can be so severe that an entire person’s life changes.

Some workplace injuries do not have much of an effect on your daily life. Instead, they inhibit your ability to work for some amount of time, but your physical capabilities are not entirely comprised. Other times, the severity of damages are so severe that a person’s entire life changes. In these types of cases, it is in an injured workers best interests to speaker with a St. Louis work injury lawyer and utilize every other kind of professional help available. One way to measure this lifestyle change is through the philosophy of ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). Below, we explain what ADLs are and how they relate to workers’ compensation.

severely injured worker

ADL Activities

Before moving on to the importance of measuring ADLs, you should understand what they are. Generally, they are split into the following 5 categories. Each has a few examples associated with it to further your understanding.

Personal Hygiene – Bathing, brushing teeth, and trimming nails.
Continence Management – Going to the bathroom without assistance.
Dressing – Putting on and taking off clothing.
Feeding – Eating and drinking.
Ambulating – Ability to walk and carry out other physical movements.

The Purpose of ADL Measuring

The reason people measure ADLs is to get an accurate picture of how poor somebody’s physical condition is. This can inform how much professional help they need, what areas of life they need assistance in, and the sum of benefits they might acquire from a compensation program.

Going Further: IADLs

ADLs cover only the most basic life activities. For this reason, many organizations try to measure instrumental activities of daily life (IADLS). They are as follows.

Companionship and Mental Support – The ability to manage emotions and relationships.
Transportation and Shopping – Essential daily errands for independent people.
Preparing Meals – This is an extension of feeding oneself which involves cooking.
Managing a House – Cleaning, doing laundry, and taking out the trash.
Managing Medications – Understanding dosage and having the physical capacity to administer medicine.
Communicating With Others
– Talking to service providers and having personal relationships.
Managing Finances – Paying bills and budgeting.

Who is the Judge?

Though there are a variety of professionals that contribute to helping those with limitations, only one can assess ADLs: A medical doctor.

How ADLs Relate to Workers’ Compensation

First of all, ADLs do not directly affect workers’ compensation. The reason is that the work injury system assesses your ability to do your job, not live your daily life. That being said, there is a significant amount of overlap between injuries that inhibit your capabilities at work and outside of it. For this reason, if your ADLs are limited from a work injury, you can use that as evidence of the severity of your injury. Additionally, you may need professional help with your ADLs, which costs a significant amount of money. This expense may affect your workers’ compensation settlement.

Though every workplace injury is unfortunate, some are more tragic than others. If you sustain damages that affect basic activities, your life will change significantly. If this ever happens to you, speak with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer right away. Given how severe your injuries are, you don’t want to risk your settlement by fighting for it alone.

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