In your situation I would buy a new harddrive with the same size of your current drive or bigger. With a tool like Acronis True Image Home (25$) you could clone your disk to the new one. This cloning should make a sectoral copy of your drive. The problem is that you can not afford to install the tool on your computer because this could overwrite your file. In a perfect world you would add your defective drive as a second drive to another notebook. Then you add the third drive via USB. On this notebook you install the Acronis tool (your drive remains unchanged). Then you make the sectoral backup from the defective harddrive to the USB drive.
In a second step you can instll a tool like "The Undelete - Data Recovery Software" (30$). It is possible to recover the file if it has just been deleted from the directory structure. In this case the data itself is still residing on your computer. But the time is a critical factor here. Unused disk space will be reused so the longer you use your computer after the accident the more likely it is that the free sectors are reused (this is why nothing should be installed on the defective drive). If this approach fails you can try in-depth harddrive tools like "HDD Recovery" but they are more expensive (130$).