Columbus Short Alleged Fight Victim Refuses to Press Charges Despite Serious Injuries

4/1/2014 1:00 AM PDT

"Scandal" star Columbus Short's alleged bar fight victim has refused to press charges against the actor -- despite serious injuries to his head and back -- and we're told ... it's all because of family ties.

The victim's lawyer tells TMZ, he's been in contact with Columbus' management to come to some sort of settlement without involving police. We're told the victim has made it clear to investigators he doesn't want the case pursued criminally.

The reason ... the lawyer tells us both men are tight with the same people -- the alleged fight went down at a family member's engagement party -- so the victim wants to resolve this as amicably as possible.

If they end up settling, Short could end up paying a boatload in medical expenses -- we're told the victim suffered a facial fracture and a massive concussion from Short's punch, as well as serious neck and back injuries.

As we reported, Columbus turned himself in to police last week after a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

It's possible the criminal case could go forward -- but without the victim's help, it's very unlikely.