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San Diego Work Injury Lawyers, California Workers Compensation Law, and Acupuncture - Patient Guide
By Brian Benjamin Carter, MSci, LAc

Have you sustained a work related injury in San Diego? Need a lawyer? What can an acupuncturist do for you?

This resource provides information and links to help you get what you need. Click below to jump down to the information you want.

Work Injuries in California - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I have to be injured at work to be covered by California workers compensation?

A. No. However, your injury must be job-related in order to be covered. For example, you will be covered if you are injured while running a work-related errand, traveling on business, or attending a required business-related social function. However, generally you will not be covered while traveling to and from work.

Q. What benefits do I get if I am injured?

A. Workers compensation insurance provides replacement income, medical expenses (including acupuncture and chiropractic!) and some rehabilitation benefits (job training, vocational schooling or job placement assistance).

If you are temporarily unable to work, you should receive two-thirds of your average wage (up to a fixed amount). These payments are smaller but they are tax-free.

If you are permanently disabled, you may receive long-term or lump sum benefits. These amounts of payment vary with the type and severity of your injuries.

Q. Can I trust a doctor provided by my employer?

A. It is reasonable to assume that this may not be in your best interest. It is best to choose your own doctor and not leave medical control in the hands on your employer or insurance company.

Q. How much would a good workers compensation attorney cost?

A. In California, the amount that can be charged by your lawyer for your worker’s compensation case is fixed by law and is a certain percentage of the benefits you receive.

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Workers Compensation Acupuncture

Q. What can acupuncture do for work-related injuries?

A lot! Acupuncture is great at relieving pain, restoring function, releasing muscle spasms, and mobilizing the resources of your own body to return to health.

Q. How does acupuncture work?

It works through a number of bodily processes. To explain it, we can talk about nerves, opioid peptides, motor neurons, and immunoglobulins, or we can talk about qi being stuck... whichever you prefer. For more, read our Acupuncture Research and Mechanisms summary.

Q. What's it like?

Acupuncture treatments are very relaxing. Initially skeptical or concerned, most patients are amazed by how comfortable even the insertion of needles is, and soon feel the benefits of the endorphins and enkephalins, the brain's natural morphine. (Of course, pain relief can last much longer than the effect of these two opioids, suggesting that other neurological mechanisms are at work.)

Many patients get so relaxed that they end up snoring on the table!

Q. Are acupuncturists part of the workers compensation system?

Yes, acupuncture has been included in the workers' compensation system since 1987. Labor code 3209.3 (a) states:

"Physician" includes physicians and surgeons holding an M.D. or D.O. degree, psychologists, acupuncturists, optometrists, dentists, podiatrists and chiropractic practitioners licensed by California state law and within the scope of their practice as defined by California law.

Acupuncturists may also participate as Qualified Medical Evaluators, if they are so trained.

Q. How many visits does it require?

Usually a course of acupuncture treatment is 10 visits. For new injuries, 2 or 3 visits a week is ideal. The total number of treatments varies with each patient. After each course of treatment, the acupuncturist can evaluate your progress. When results have plateaued, the acupuncturist may try a new treatment strategy, or may conclude that they have helped you as much as possible. The goal is to get you back to 100%. In cases of permanent disability, maintenance acupuncture for pain, mobility, etc. may be required.

Q. What does it cost me?

Your acupuncture is paid for by your workers compensation benefits. It costs you nothing.

Also read about facts and myths of acupuncture and work-comp

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Where to Go in San Diego for Help

Work Injury Acupuncture in San Diego

Come see me (Brian B. Carter, MSci, LAc) in Kearney Mesa or Poway. I'll come to you (yes, I do house calls) if your injury prevents you from traveling. First, call me at 619-208-1432, and I'll have my medical billing personnel get authorization... and then we'll get started.

Work Injury San Diego Chiropractor

See my friend, Dr. John Schaefer in Kearny Mesa. 858-278-8782.

San Diego Work Injury Lawyers

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About The PULSE
All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.

Copyright 1999-2074, Pulse Media International, Brian Carter, MSci, LAc, Editor