FREE CONSULTATION (314) 361-4300
Free Consultation

How Activities of Daily Living Impact Workers Compensation Claims


Some workplace injuries or illnesses can turn one’s life around completely and result in permanent damage.

If you’re fortunate, a workplace injury may not leave any lasting effects on your life, and you can move on from it completely.

Sadly, not all injured workers face this happy scenario. Some workplace injuries or illnesses can turn one’s life around completely and result in permanent damage. In these cases, the injured worker may be entitled to more than just medical reimbursements and time off work. They are generally entitled to disability benefits.

How much will that translate to? One way you can determine this is through the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) principle.

injured worker in wheelchair

What Is ADL and What Does It Have to Do with Worker’s Compensation?

ADL is a concept that dates from the 1950s, used as an indicator of a person’s functional status. 

There Are Two Main Categories.

Basic ADLs:

  • Moving and walking independently
  • The ability to feed oneself
  • The ability to dress and undress
  • The ability to bathe and groom oneself
  • The ability to perform use the restroom independently

Instrumental ADLs:

  • Shopping and traveling 
  • House cleaning and maintenance
  • Managing finances
  • Cooking
  • Managing medications and treatments
  • Communicating with others

Instrumental ADLs refer to more complex functions that require additional skills. Usually, such functions are impaired when a person’s cognition is affected.

What Do ADLs Have to Do with Worker’s Compensation?

Well, if your workplace injury results in a disability, some of your ADL functions may be impaired, depending on the nature of your injury. Worker’s compensation technically does not require a professional to analyze a person’s ADL, but you may end up benefiting from it.

Worker’s Comp Settlements

Some worker’s comp cases may end up in a settlement if the workplace injury or illness leaves long-term effects, and the worker cannot return to their job, or get any other form of employment.

By law, you may be entitled to disability benefits that will account for the losses the workplace injuries have created. Because of this, analyzing how your ADLs have been affected by your medical condition is essential because it allows you to showcase the full extent of your situation, which may not be present in your medical file.

For example, if a workplace injury leaves a worker paralyzed permanently, the obvious ADL affected has to do with mobility – they likely cannot move freely on their own in many cases. But if you look closer, there are other functions which are affected. Housecleaning, grooming, even dressing can be ADL functions that are much more difficult to manage for a person who is paralyzed.

What Are Your Options?

If your workplace injury has affected your quality of life, reach out to a St. Louis worker’s compensation attorney for assistance. The final settlement in your case should account for all the pain your workplace injury has caused, and you will benefit greatly from the skill and experience of an attorney who can negotiate a fair settlement.

Updated: September 14, 2020
Click to Call (314) 361-4300 Online Case Evaluation Form