Propane Explosion Injuries

Last updated on: April 9, 2015

Propane is a heavy gas produced as a byproduct of natural gas and petroleum processing.  It is used in many home appliances, and it also has industrial uses.  Propane is far more dangerous than natural gas – it results in at least a dozen times as many injuries, and perhaps a hundred times as many deaths.

If someone else was responsible for your injury, competent legal help is a must. In general, most propane injuries fall into just a few categories, the types of which are as follows:

Tangible Injuries

Blast Injuries: A propane blast injury occurs when the pressure of the blast meets your skin. This can cause you to suffer a concussion, and can also rupture your eyes and ears. Inside your body, it can result in abdominal perforation and other traumatic injuries.

Shrapnel-Type Injuries: Flying debris injures you when it strikes your body. The amount and type of debris depends largely on the environment of the explosion. Common injuries include skin and eye punctures.

Impact Injuries: An impact injury occurs when your body is slammed against a surface by the force of an explosion. This can result in some of the most serious imaginable injuries including brain damage, shattered bones, and even impact amputation of the limbs or head.

Heat Injuries: The heat of a blast (caused by overheated propane gas) can injure you on both the outside and the inside. On the outside, it can result in serious burns, one of the most painful kinds of injuries. Toxic gas can also be forced into your lungs, resulting in long-term conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Psychological Injuries: The pain of a blast injury extends beyond physical damage to your body. In fact, your psychological damages might be even greater than your physical damages.

  • One form of psychological injury (known as general damages) is the physical pain and suffering that the injury and its treatment may cause.
  • Another kind of general damages is more abstract and is known as “mental anguish” by the courts.
  • You experience mental anguish when you develop conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety and panic attacks as a result of your injuries or the resulting debilitation.
  • Physical debilitation, especially if it is long-term, can cause its own sort of distress, as you miss out on enjoying common activities that you can no longer participate in, such as sex.
  • Other forms of psychological damages are also recognized by courts.