Sometimes in workers compensation cases the extent of the injury or injuries is apparent from the outset but more often than not there are underlying issues or injuries that don’t surface until sometime after the initial accident. In order to address latent injuries, North Carolina courts have created what is known as the “Parsons Presumption.” The Parsons Presumption is basically that any future medical claim an injured employee has is presumed to be related to the accident unless the employer rebuts that presumption.
North Carolina has been using the Parson’s Presumption since 1997 but it wasn’t until recently that a case expanded the scope of the Presumption to include when an employer filed a Form 60. Form 60 is the industrial commission form that an employer files admitting to the compensability of an injury. Under the newly decided case of Wilkes v. City of Greensboro once an employer files a Form 60 it is presumed that future symptoms are related unless the employer rebuts that presumption. To rebut the presumption an employer needs to have a physician state that in their opinion the new symptom is more likely than not unrelated to the accident.
If you need help figuring out your rights as an employer or an employee under the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act we would be happy to help you.