Depending on how your hard drive crashed it may still be possible to get your files off of it.
A common one is some key files of the operating system get corrupted or even a key part of the the filesystem structure gets corrupted. In some cases it's possible to fix and the computer can be used as normal, but even in the cases it's not, the remainder of the files are intact. Usually you get to them by booting into a livecd os and inspecting the harddrive. Even if you can't browse the file system you can have it scan the entire harddrive and find files that way.
The main thing to note is the failure probably only corrupted a tiny portion of the hard drive. Even in cases where I couldn't fix it, I was able to extract all the files I needed and was able to re-format the harddrive and re-use it without issue. Any computer tech guy worth his salt should be able to do any of this.
In very rare cases you can get a mechanical hard drive failure, which is basically unrecoverable. My sister had an external hard drive that overheated under a blanket and stopped working. That said if you really really want to get those files there are companies that can still get the files off of it if you're willing to pay.