Excellent post by our counselor,Alan K.!
From a claims rep's perspective, I agree with Alan totally. There is a notice requirement to a municipality and to a landlord after the fall, that might be critical in sustaining an action.
As Alan explains, the locus of the fall must be pinpointed to determine who is in control and what duties are owed to the injured party, and what was the status of the party at the time of the fall.
The unnatural accumulation is what does a landlord in. Comparative negligence on the part of the claimant can be argued but at times the injured party gets dumped unaware because the "condition" is covered by a thin layer of fresh snow that makes it look safe, and because he has no other alternative but to walk over the ice such as in a parking lot.
The owner of the premises can also be found liable if snow and ice cover up a defective condition of the pavement.
If the owner's insurance coverage has medical payments coverage, then the bills, up to a small limit, can be paid regardless of the liability picture.
If the injury occurs on the premises of an employer, the claimant has the opportunity to file for worker's compensation and or bring suit against a third party contractor, if any, who was responsible to clear and sand the lot and common walk areas.
[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited March 15, 2001).]