The 26-year-old movie extra who was critically injured during a stunt for "Transformers 3" will receive an $18.5 million settlement from producers. 

Gabriela Cedillo had sued Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Studios after she suffered a serious head injury during a stunt-gone-wrong in Indiana on Sept. 1, 2010. 

Cedillo was driving her own car in the background of an action sequence ... when something went terribly wrong. 

According to people on the set, a stunt car was being pulled by another car ... when the cable between the two vehicles snapped and whipped around ... slicing through Cedillo's windshield and striking her in the head. 

Cedillo was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she underwent emergency surgery ... but the damage to her brain is permanent. 

According to Cedillo's lawsuit, obtained by NBCChicago.com, Paramount and DreamWorks originally promised to cover medical costs ... which soared past the $350k mark ... only to do "everything they could to avoid payment."

But it seems the studios have stepped up with the cash -- and now a judge has signed off on the settlement. 

Following the crash, the incident was investigated by Indiana safety officials ... who determined the studios did not violate any of their operational standards.


4:35 PM PT -- A rep for Paramount says, "We are pleased that the Cedillo family has agreed to move forward with the settlement.  This was a tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers remain with Gabriela."

1:45 PM PT
 -- Cedillo's people just released a photo of the 26-year-old following a recent surgery ... pretty gnarly. 

Source Tmz

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