My car was rear ended. The insurance company already has settled medical/time off costs, but refuses to pay the body shop the amount of the estimate. They are withholding final payment to the body shop and the body shop won't release the car unless I pay the difference. The difference is $346. I also have a rental car that is being billed to the insurance company, but I don't know if they will pay for the entire cost while this dispute lingers on. If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn't have signed a release form (for the medical & time off), and would've gotten a lawyer to handle the matter from the beginning.
Sadly, this is one of the potential pitfalls of trying to handle a car accident claim on your own. Normally, I would encourage you to consult an attorney directly (more details are needed to answer your question, and an experienced lawyer would be able to help tailor a response on your particular situation), but it's difficult to find a lawyer to handle a case at this stage.
This response is based on limited information. It is not meant as and does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Get it out of the shop ASAP because you are incurring charges. You can always fix this issue later. Are you injured? If you are most attorneys can help you out with getting this disputed reimbursed.
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
The other counsel gave you good advice. Pay them from your pocket, and start driving it instead of incurring more cost. You can always fight with the insurance company and the body shop. If they had accepted the estimate, they should not have any problem paying them. The insurance company's adjusters are expert in these issues, many of them are themselves body shop people.
Only see a licensed attorney before you make any decision. This answer may not be perfect in any given situation. However, more fact may be required by your local attorney.