Is it okay to say, “It took Mohan six months to recover from his fatal accident”?

Is it okay to say, “It took Mohan six months to recover from his fatal accident”?

No, it isn’t. The word `fatal’ usually has a negative connotation. An accident or an illness that is described as `fatal’, usually results in the death of an individual. As you probably know, it is difficult for a person to recover from death!

Examples: The ailing chief minister suffered a fatal heart attack around midnight. * Several policemen were fatally wounded during the encounter with the militants.

The word `fatal’ can also be used to mean `undesirable’ or `causing disaster’.

Examples: The captain made the fatal mistake of asking Agarkar to bowl the final over. * Sahu’s injury proved fatal to our plans of winning the trophy.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ (The Hindu) – December 11, 2006.

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