Absolutely... remove hard drive, test in external enclosure / external lashup cable (basically a USB drive case without the case bit!) or another computer.
If the drive will not spin up or access, then it's dead - and the price of professional data recovery on a dead drive is massive and may still not be successful.
The real question is, is it JUST the drive, or is other damage present - if it has a functioning DVD/CD drive, then testing with a Linux live CD will allow the rest of it to be tested, with a careful examination of the screen for any problems.
On a dropped laptop, you have to be asking "is it worth trying to fix" - and also, do you or possibly your friend have insurance covering accidental damage