What Is a “Parsons Presumption”?

In North Carolina, the term “Parsons Presumption” hails from the state Supreme Court case Parsons v. Pantry, Inc., 126 N.C. App. 540, 485 S.E.2d 867 (1997).

Parsons Presumption dictates that in a personal injury case, “once the employee meets the initial burden of showing that an injury is the result of a compensable accident, a presumption arises that additional medical treatment is directly related to the compensable injury,” according to Lexus Nexis.

In Parsons v Pantry, the employee sustained severe injuries from a work-related vehicle accident. After the injury, he sought medical treatment for anxiety and depression related to the accident. The Commission ruled that he had failed to prove he needed the additional treatment because of the original injury. The Court of Appeals reversed the Commission’s ruling, holding (under Parsons) that “it was error to place the burden on the injured worker to prove causation each time he or she sought medical care.” The Supreme Court agreed, citing Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law.

How Does Parsons Presumption Affect Me?

Parsons Presumption provides good news for workers who suffer a work-related injury because it removes the burden of proof that they have to re-prove the injury every time they need additional treatment for that injury.

While the Commission is ruling on your case and disability, it must determine three things:

  1. You were incapable after the injury of earning the same wages in the same employment as before the injury;
  2. After the injury, you are not able to make the same salary as previously earned before the injury in any other profession;
  3. That your injury caused your inability to earn.

Expert testimony isn’t needed to prove the injury caused incapability of earning income at the same level as before the injury occurred. Your testimony on wage-earning capacity suffices.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved In A Personal Injury Accident?

Suppose you’ve been injured while on the job, contact Knox Law Center right away. Our team offers complimentary consultations to prospective clients. During this confidential session, we will discuss your case to help you better understand the legal system and get to know our team better.

The lawyers at Knox Law Center have decades of experience working in personal injury law in North Carolina, so we can give you your best chance at winning your case.

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