The Department of Industrial Accidents (the “DIA”) is the court system in Massachusetts designated with the responsibility of handling workers’ compensation claims. There are 5 DIAs in Massachusetts: Boston, Worcester, Lawrence, Fall River and Springfield. Similar to any other court system, it has judges that hear disputes and resolve them by making a decision. Just like the Federal system has courts for bankruptcy, state probate and family courts handle wills and divorce matters and the state trial courts (such as the Massachusetts Superior Courts and District Courts) handle criminal and civil claims (such as drunk driving cases and personal injury lawsuits), the DIA is the court that handles workers’ compensation claim.
The DIA Makes Sure Employers Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The DIA’s primary obligation is to enforce the laws of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (M.G.L. c. 152). One major requirement under the Workers’ Compensation Act is that employers in Massachusetts must have worker’s compensation insurance to cover their employees. The DIA has an Office of Investigations that monitors businesses in Massachusetts to make sure they have the required workers’ compensation insurance. This is essential so that injured workers are covered by insurance in the event they are seriously injured on the job.
The DIA Resolves Workers’ Compensation Disputes
Additionally, the DIA administers and resolves disputed injury claims. If a worker is injured in a work-place accident and the workers’ compensation insurance company denies the claim, that injured worker can file an Employee’s Claim for Benefits with the DIA. Likewise, if a workers’ compensation insurer wants to terminate or modify an injured workers’ benefits, they would file a Complaint to Discontinue or Modify with the DIA.
The DIA will then handle the claim or complaint and it will proceed through the usual process of a workers’ compensation claim. The Conciliation, Conference and Hearing are all held at the DIA. Also, if a workers’ compensation claim is settled by way of a lump sum settlement, the DIA will hear and decide whether to approve the lump sum settlement.
The DIA is a Great Source of Very Helpful Information
One great aspect of the DIA in Massachusetts is that the DIA and its website provides a lot of information for injured workers. There are answers to questions employees have about their workers’ compensation claims and provide guidance about the many procedures of a workers’ compensation claim so injured workers can obtain the benefits they deserve.
An injured worker should also speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Massachusetts after being injured on the job. An experienced lawyer will be able to properly evaluate your work injury and take the right steps toward getting you the compensation benefits you deserve.
Speak With An Experienced Injury Attorney in Massachusetts
If you have been seriously injured in a work-related accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The lawyers at the Framingham law office of Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specialize specifically on accident and injury cases and are here to help. Whether you need an attorney to represent you and your family or just have a specific question, feel free to contact us.
We offer a no-obligation complimentary case evaluation. Please call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.