In helping to resolve claims seeking compensation for occupationally related disease, physicians are consulted and expected to provide expert opinions to a mainly non-medical audience on medical issues which have important legal implications.  Claims adjusters, disability raters, attorneys and worker's compensation judges often use these medical opinions to make decisions which can drastically affect a person's life and have considerable health and financial consequences.  Therefore, medical facts must be translated into easily understood and clearly reasoned "bottom lines" for these important decisions to be made.

In the capacity of medical legal evaluator, Dr. Zagelbaum uses his vast clinical experience, training, knowledge of current and well established scientific standards and literature to perform a comprehensive, thorough and detailed medical evaluation in which he reviews all necessary health evidence and provides an expert medical opinion on all relevant medical legal issues of concern in clearly understood and well-reasoned language.  As a board certified internist and pulmonary specialist with specialized experience and interest in occupational health, he is also well versed in the diagnosis, evaluation and clinical management of workers with a wide variety of pulmonary, internal medical and associated health conditions.

Medical Legal Services

Disability Rating

Dr. Zagelbaum uses current and well accepted guidelines for determining levels of impairment and disability.  These rating decisions incorporate various clinical findings, physiologic measurements, and other relevant factors and are substantiated by substantial salient medical evidence and scientific documentation.  Where applicable, he also addresses the issue of apportionment in which he separates the relative contribution of occupational and nonoccupational factors to overall disability.

Medical References and Scientific Literature

In providing expert medical opinions, Dr. Zagelbaum integrates his extensive clinical experience and scientific knowledge with appropriate review and search of the vast, ever expanding medical literature and cutting-edge research.  As a University medical educator and lecturer, he strives to maintain a thorough up to date knowledge of current medical standards and prevailing expertise.

Dr. Zagelbaum is a board certified internist and pulmonary specialist and a certified Qualified Medical Examiner for the Workers' Compensation Board, State of California.  For further information, please submit the Contact Form (see menu item Contact Us).

​Review of Medical Records

Dr. Zagelbaum provides a thorough and in-depth review of medical records, identifying salient medical facts and data and integrates this information with his extensive clinical experience and scientific knowledge in providing an objective evidence-based expert medical decision on key medical legal issues such as diagnosis, causation, disability, work restrictions, future medical care and other relevant compensation matters.


Once a disease is properly diagnosed, an important medical-legal issue is whether it is attributable to work or exposure on the job.  In making this determination, the effects of naturally acquired or pre-existing disease must be separated from those which are work related.  The legal standard for cause (upon which compensation benefit decisions are based) is established when there is a greater than 50 percent chance that a work factor (e.g exposure) is responsible for the person's health condition  In medical-legal parlance, this means that it is "more probable that not" that the work factor produced or contributed to the medical disorder.

In providing a reliable medical opinion as to whether there is a probable link between an individual's exposure on the job and the health problems or medical conditions which are reported, Dr. Zagelbaum performs a detailed analysis of all relevant medical findings, exposure and industrial hygiene information and other pertinent evidence and substantiates his determination with appropriate cutting edge medical research, scientific references and other requisite medical evidence.

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