Once the Stipulation and Agreement is approved, the Employer/Insurer will have 20 days to mail the settlement checks, pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-221 and Board Rule 221. (If the insurer's office is outside of the state of Georgia, the insurer will have 17 days.) The Employer/Insurer will issue two separate checks, one payable to the Employee/Claimant's attorney for attorney's fees and expenses, and one payable to the Employee/Claimant for her share of the settlement proceeds. If payment of the settlement proceeds is not properly made/mailed within 20 days, the Employer/Insurer may be subject to a penalty of 20% pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-221(f) and Board Rule 221.
The attorney for the Employer/Insurer will also typically prepare a Resignation and a General Release for the Employee/Claimant to sign, which will be included with the Stipulation and Agreement when it is sent by defense counsel to counsel for the injured worker. With regard to the Resignation, it is very rare indeed that a case can settle with the Employee/Claimant retaining his employment with the pre-injury employer. As a practical matter, once an employee is injured, most employers gradually or rapidly begin to view the employee as a liability. Certainly, the insurer views the Employee/Claimant as a liability, and a risk of reinjury, and so resignations are usually required to settle a Workers' Compensation claim.