If you suffer an injury at work in California that is covered under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, you must file a claim using the proper forms and within the time limit to qualify for coverage. It is up to you to understand your rights and know what to do to file a claim. The Department of Labor states you must use Form CA-1 or CA-2 to file your initial FELA claim.
Within ten days, you also must provide medical evidence of your injuries and current medical situation. You will also need to file Form OWCP-1500 for medical service payment reimbursement. You should file your claim as soon as possible, but you must file it within 30 days of the date you were injured to meet FELA time requirements. If you cannot file the form because you are physically unable to due to the injury, someone can file it on your behalf, such as your spouse or a legal representative. You may need to file Form CA-7 if you will be unable to come back to work, but the time limits for this may be longer than the initial claim, especially if your medical provider is not sure of the extent of your injury or how it will affect you long-term.
Which initial form you use depends on your type of injury. Catastrophic injuries are reported on a CA-1. Occupational diseases are reported on CA-2. Each type of injury is treated differently and requires different forms. The OWCP-1500 and CA-7 are used for CA-1 injuries. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.