A: Yes, in certain circumstances, an officer or firefighter should be allowed to sue a homeowner or property owner for injuries sustained on the property, even when on the job. While of course, officers and firefighters certainly understand the inherent dangers of the job, they should not be stripped of the rights afforded to other citizens. Under New Jersey law, officers and firefighters are not treated differently than say, a neighbor or friend who is invited to a homeowner’s property, suffers injury, and then brings suit.
For example, a police officer who suffers serious injury after falling through a homeowner’s decrepit entryway stairs has the right to recover for the homeowner’s negligence. Similarly, a firefighter who is attacked and injured by a homeowner’s dog when responding to a fire would also have the right to file suit for resulting injuries. In these kinds of situations, officers and firefighters should have the same rights as other individuals.
Not every situation will result in a viable lawsuit. Each case is unique and an officer or firefighter will be able to file suit in those situations where a landowner or homeowner committed some act of negligence.
Related Legal Article: NJ Police Officer & Firefighter Lawsuits Against Property Owners
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Published: May 28, 2012