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.
2 lawyers agree
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.
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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.